Virtual Law School in collaboration with Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar is pleased to invite you for GLAD Talk on ‘The Utility & Limits of Legal History & Constitutional Adjudication’.

Date & Time: December 23, 2020 | 12:00 Noon.

The talk will be delivered by Hon’ble Mr. Michael Kirby, Former Judge, High Court of Australia.

  • OPEN to All
  • No Registration Fees
  • Opportunity to Interact with Mr. Michael Kirby

Programme Participation Details:
Participation Link:
Event Number: 159 106 9745
Event Password: VLS2020
Request you to join by 11:50 AM

Program Schedule:
12:00 Noon: Starting the Session by Mr. Savyasachin Mittal (Communications Leader) on behalf of Virtual Law School as Moderator
12:00PM- 12:05PM: Introducing the Speakers – Mr. Michael Kirby, Prof. S. Shanthakumar, Dr. Nachiketa Mittal and Dr. Richa Sharma
12:05PM- 12:08PM- Introduction of Program by Dr. Nachiketa Mittal, Founder & Director- Virtual Law School
12:08PM- 12:18PM: Address by Prof. S. Shanthakumar, Vice-Chancellor, GNLU
12:18PM- 01:00PM: Lecture by Mr. Michael Kirby, Former Judge, High Court of Australia
01:00PM- 01:10PM: Q & A – Moderated by Dr. Richa Sharma, Assistant Professor of History, GNLU
01:10PM- 01:13PM- Summarizing the session by Moderator
01:13PM- 01:18PM- Vote of Thanks by Dr. Richa Sharma

Brief Bio of The Honourable Michael Kirby: Mr. Kirby was a Justice of the High Court of Australia, the nation’s highest court from 1996-2009. Previously, he was President of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales and also of Solomon Islands. Between 1975-84 he was inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission. He has had many links with India.

We welcome all law students, law professors, law researchers and lawyers to join GLAD TALK by Justice Kirby who is a well-known crusader of human rights and an exceptional jurist and a legal scholar on this subject of deliberation.

About the Topic: In this lecture, the speaker will draw upon his experience in constitutional adjudication concerning the Australian Constitution 1901. Whereas the Indian Constitution was autochthonous, being developed and adopted wholly within India, the Australian Constitution was an act of the Imperial Parliament at Westminster. But it was in virtually every substantive respect the outcome of constitutional debates that took part in the Australian colonies in the 1890s. Both constitutions were affected by the British model and by their mode of drafting.

In Australia, the study of legal history was previously a compulsory subject for all law students. That course is no longer a compulsory or core subject. Today only two or three of the 42 Australian law schools include study of legal history. Yet legal history can be very useful in understanding written texts (including of a constitutional instrument) and in understanding and appreciating the development of the common law. Whilst a national constitution is a special legal document, understanding some provisions may be rendered easier by a knowledge of the history that lay behind the concepts.
The speaker will refer to three comparatively recent decisions of the High Court of Australia and to legal history to explain the issues. These cases are:

  • Combet v The Commonwealth (2005) 224 CLR 494 (the importance of appropriation of money by parliament);
  • Love v The Commonwealth (2020) 94 ALJR 199 (meaning of “Aboriginal” in the Constitution); and
  • Private R v Cowen (2020) 94 ALJR 849 (limiting the power of military tribunals).

The speaker will also refer to the Judges Cases in India and the requirement of the Indian Constitution for “consultation” with the Judicial Branch and the emergence of the “Collegium”.