Public law

The Public Law Committee monitors all matters related to this area and represents the Law Society and its members on policy and practice issues arising from it.

Our priorities include:

  • Identifying opportunities to improve review frameworks in relation to administrative decisions (eg, greater provision of internal review, external merits review etc);
  • Matters that affect the powers and independence of investigative and oversight bodies (e.g. ICAC, LECC);
  • Counter-terrorism and national security legislation;
  • The resilience of public institutions and the role of the rule of law;
  • Monitoring the changing relationship between areas of public law and private law.

Learn more about committees
Current committee members
How to join a committee

Recent policy submissions

Letter to Law Council of Australia – Review of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Declared Areas) Bill 2024 – 22 April 2024

Letter to Law Council of Australia – Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024 – 5 April 2024

Letter to Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters - Inquiry into the administration of the 2023 NSW state election - truth in political advertising - 1 March 2024

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Inquiry into the Administrative Review Tribunal Bill 2023 and the Administrative Review (Consequential and Transitional Provisions No. 1) Bill 2023  - 15 January 2024

Letter to the Law Council of Australia – Review of Subdivision C of Division 3 of Part 2 of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Citizenship Cessation Determinations) – Additional Submission – 22 December 2023

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Public sector whistleblowing stage 2 reforms Public Consultation Questions - 18 December 2023

Letter to Minister for Planning and Public Spaces - Aspects of Part 5 of the NSW Reconstruction Authority Act 2022 (NSW) - 4 December 2023

Letter to the Law Council of Australia – Review of Subdivision C of Division 3 of Part 2 of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Citizenship Cessation Determinations) – 24 November 2023

Letter to Law Council of Australia – Review of Division 3 of Part III of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 – 10 November 2023

Letter to NSW Parliament Inquiry into artificial intelligence in New South Wales - 20 October 2023

Letter to NSW Electoral Commission - Technology assisted voting interim review report - 21 September 2023

Letter to Department of Customer Service – Improving NSW rental laws consultation paper – 18 August 2023

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Inquiry into the operation of the Commonwealth Freedom of Information laws - 22 May 2023

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Administrative Review Reform - Issues Paper - 26 April 2023

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Inquiry into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice - 14 April 2023

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Privacy Act Review Report - 20 March 2023

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Federal Judicial Commission - 15 February 2023

Letter to NSW Electoral Commission - Technology assisted voting review - 10 February 2023

Letter to Law Council of Australia - Inquiry into the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Amendment (Review) Bill 2022 - 27 January 2023

View Public Law policy submissions archive

2024 Committee list

Mr Graeme Johnson (Chair), Ms Debra Smith (Deputy Chair), A. Chalk, E. Hammond, R. Heinrich,  M. Keenan, V. La, C. Lithgow, A. Mojtahedi, M. O'Brien, K. Renehan, G. Rohan, K. Smith,  M. Smyth, V. Tiano, A. Tsacalos, A. Walsh, A. Zekanovic.

How to join a committee
Law Society Committees have powers, authorities and tasks delegated by the Council. Consisting of dedicated volunteers, each committee focuses on a particular area of law, pooling together specialist skills and experience in order to scrutinise legislation, court decisions and other government policies.
There are three broad categories of committees:

  • Regulatory committees – perform statutory duties under the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)
  • Liaison committees – linked to other professions or organisations
  • Policy committees

By drawing on the insights of committees, the Law Society can meet its statutory duties and act as a major player in law reform and policy debates.

See the Law Society Committee webpage