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Event Description

My name is Dolores Ditner and I am honoured to take over the Chairmanship of the University of Sydney UK Alumni Association (USUKAA) from Tony Chan. I look forward to taking his legacy forward by continuing to broaden contacts and opportunities for our alumni and students. As we cannot meet in person due to the ongoing pandemic, you are invited to attend a series of upcoming events virtually. Under the umbrella of the newly created 'USUKAA Outreach Programme', we would like to provide you with an opportunity to attend a series of on-line events to include:Presentations on specific topics for those who are rethinking their careers, aiming to reconnect or considering their future. Sessions will showcase our extensive corps of expertise in science and technology, finance and the arts. I welcome anyone interested in participating as a panellist in our event series to get in touch by email at by eminent specialists in their field.The second of the series will be given by Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC on ‘The UK’s Unwritten Constitution: Fit for Purpose?’ which is timely with Brexit presently taking place. After the lecture there will be a Q&A session.Alumni and their guests welcome.Best regards,DoloresTopic"The UK’s Unwritten Constitution: Fit for Purpose?"IntroductionDolores Ditner: (Master of Arts 1982), Chair of USUKAA, Founding Director of the first Language Centres of The University of London (KCL and UCL)LecturerProfessor Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC: has had a wide-ranging career as Professor of Public Law at UCL, Founder- Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, and is a practising barrister at Blackstone Chambers at the Middle Temple in London where he specialises in constitutional, administrative, and human rights law. He is the draftsman of a number of national constitutions.Timings6.20pm.  Zoom meeting open.6.30pm.  Lecture starts.7.30pm. Event ends.ZoomA Zoom Link will be sent to you before the meeting.Does the Alumni Office in Sydney have your up-to-date contact details?  By keeping your details current; the alumni office will notify you of relevant upcoming events.  Simply update using this URL:University of Sydney Alumni Address UpdateProfessor Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC Sir Jeffrey was born on 4 November 1938 in Cape Town. He attended the University of Cape Town, where he was active in the student resistance to the growing apartheid measures at that time. He then studied at Oxford University, where he was President of the Oxford Union, and then at Harvard Law School. Sir Jeffrey’s professional career includes academic scholarship and practice as a barrister and constitutional advisor at Blackstone Chambers at the Middle Temple, specialising in public law including constitutional, administrative, human rights and the design and implementation of national constitutions. Sir Jeffrey was Knighted in 2011 (KCMG) for services to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. The scope of Sir Jeffrey’s work includes judicial review, human rights and other aspects of public and international law.  He advises extensively on the drafting of national constitutions, the relationship between the UK and dependent territories, and the design and application of internal regulatory and Ombudsmen schemes. He has appeared on these matters in the courts of Commonwealth countries as well as the Privy Council and the UK Supreme Court. His advice is enhanced by the practical experience he gained through his role (between 2000–2011) as the UK’s member of the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law (“The Venice Commission”) where he assisted with the constitutional and public law of a number of countries. Through his work with the Bingham Centre he also provides extensive advice on rule of law standards internationally. Sir Jeffrey has produced leading publications on a number of legal issues and in 1993, he joined Lord Woolf as joint author of the leading text, de Smith’s Judicial Review, which proved to be an important channel through which to advance his ideas to the practising profession.The breadth of Sir Jeffrey’s influence ranges from the case for laws against racial and religious discrimination at a time when the UK had none; the merits and demerits of judicial control of administrative discretion, challenging the widely held view at that time that welfare recipients had no rights to challenge decisions to grant or refuse their benefits; the extent to which judges could interfere with the substance of, rather than the procedure by which, decisions are made by public bodies. After his involvement in the drafting process of the South African constitution, Sir Jeffrey studied the extent to which constitutional principles or rights could be implied in the UK’s uncodified constitution, and their content.  In particular, whether the concepts of equality and the rule of law are inherent components of the UK and constitution, and indeed whether they are a necessary component of any constitutional democracy. In 2010, Sir Jeffrey was appointed the inaugural Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, which soon established itself as a significant centre for the study and promotion of the rule of law, involving issues such as devolution, closed trials, schools programmes, immigrants’ rights, the rule of law in Parliament etc. The Centre also worked on rule of law matters abroad, in countries such as Myanmar, Bahrain and Turkey.Sir Jeffrey has always combined his academic life with practice at the English Bar, in Blackstone Chambers. He advises over a broad range of public law and human rights issues, particularly in relation to the powers and accountability of public officials.  He has appeared in the UK Supreme Court, the Privy Council, and also the courts of countries such as Malawi, the Southern African Development Community Tribunal in Namibia, in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. As one of a small number of experts on the drafting of national constitutions, he has been involved in the constitutions of South Africa, the Cayman Islands, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Georgia, and elsewhere. He also advises on the constitutions of a number of British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. As the UK’s member on the Venice Commission (the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy Through Law) he advised on the constitutions and public law of a number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, chairing the committee which produced the Commission’s influential document on The Rule of Law.

Event Dates
  • December 2, 2020 1:30 PM - 7:30 PM Ended
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The University of Sydney UK Alumni Association exists to encourage its alumni members working/living/studying in the United Kingdom to engage in the life of the University and with each other. Alumni in other European countries, and friends of the University, are also welcome to join and to participate in the Association's events.rnThe Association has an active membership which includes graduates from a variety of disciplines, including Arts, Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, Architecture, Social Work and Agricultural Science.

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