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George Williams AO

George Williams AO
 

George Williams AO is one of Australia’s leading constitutional lawyers and public commentators. He is Dean of Law at the University of New South Wales, the Anthony Mason Professor, a Scientia Professor and the Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales. As an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, he is engaged in a five year international project on anti-terror laws and democracy. He has held visiting positions at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Columbia University Law School in New York and University College London.

George has written and edited 28 books, including Australian Constitutional Law and Theory and The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia. He has appeared as a barrister in the High Court in some of the most important constitutional law cases of the last two decades, such as Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Case and Plaintiff S157/2002 v Commonwealth. He has also appeared in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Fiji, including in Republic of Fiji v Prasad on the legality of the 2000 coup.

He has served on a number of public inquiries. As chair of the Victorian Human Rights Consultation Committee in 2005 he helped bring about Australia’s first State bill of rights, the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. In 2007 he chaired a NSW Government inquiry into Options for a New National Industrial Relations System that produced the historic referral of State industrial power over the private sector to the Commonwealth. He also served on a High Level Advisory Group on Federal-State Relations to Kevin Rudd MP. More recently, he was a member of the NSW Government’s Panel to Examine Recall Elections and assisted the Northern Territory in its renewed attempt to become Australia’s seventh State as a member of its Constitutional Convention Committee.

George is a well-known media commentator on legal issues. He has been a columnist for The Australian and the Canberra Times and an on-air analyst for ABC Television. He is currently a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald. He also reviews science fiction and fantasy books for The Weekend Australian and ABC Radio National’s Books and Arts Show.

George was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011: ‘For distinguished service to the law in the fields of anti-terrorism, human rights and constitutional law as an academic, author, adviser and public commentator.’

 

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