Limitations on Judicial Review: Where to from Here?

Judges in Conversation

23 September 2019

Justice Debbie Mortimer, Federal Court of Australia
Professor David Feldman, University of Cambridge, U.K.

Date: Tuesday 8 October 2019

Time: 6.00pm - 7.00pm

Courtroom 8A, Level 8
Federal Court
305 William St

03 9035 1111

Bookings are essential for this free public lecture. Register at

The often tense relationship between the judiciary and the executive that plays out when the courts exercise their supervisory jurisdiction over administrative action is frequently framed by legislative attempts to limit the scope or even possibility of that supervisory function. 'Privative' or 'ouster' clauses are the paradigm case of such legislative attempts, but are increasingly just one among a number of devices that might operate to restrict the scope of judicial review. Conditions of contemporary government and politics increasingly also raise questions about the scope of judicial review of executive or 'prerogative' power exercised without any statutory foundation.

In this 'Judges in Conversation' event, Justice Debbie Mortimer (Federal Court of Australia) will engage Professor David Feldman (University of Cambridge, UK) in a conversation about these and other developments with a view to assessing the present and future state of judicial review in both Australia and the United Kingdom. This timely conversation will provide insights into latest developments in both countries, including crucial questions about the possibilities and limits of judicial responses to unfolding events associated with 'Brexit' in the United Kingdom.

About Justice Debbie Mortimer

Justice Debbie Mortimer was appointed to the Federal Court in July 2013, based in Melbourne. Prior to her appointment to the Federal Court, she practised as a member of the Victorian Bar and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2003. Justice Mortimer's practice was principally in public law, together with anti-discrimination and extradition law.

She acted for both applicants and respondents, and for and against government, in state and federal jurisdictions including in the High Court, and was involved in many ground-breaking cases over the course of her career. She has received a number of awards for her work, including the 2011 Law Council of Australia President's Medal, the Victorian Bar's Pro Bono Perpetual Trophy, and the Australian Human Rights Commission Law Award. Justice Mortimer is also a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies.

About David Feldman QC

David Feldman, QC (Hon), FBA, is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of English Law, University of Cambridge, UK. As well as working at several universities, he was the first Legal Adviser to the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights in the UK's Parliament (2000-04), and was a Judge of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2002-10). His research ranges across public law, broadly defined, with a particular interest in legal and political history and the relationship between politics and law more generally.