Government Lawyers and the Public Interest: Still Relevant Today?


What is the relationship between the public interest and government lawyers? On one level, the concept pervades the very existence of government lawyers: advising and assisting government understand the limits of its powers is a function conducted in the public interest. But beyond providing one explanation for the existence of government lawyers, should the public interest continue to inform their professional and ethical obligations? Do government lawyers approach confidentiality, conflicts of interest and the conduct of litigation differently to their private counterparts?

This seminar will consider this question by exploring the traditional functions and obligations of the Attorney-General, as first Law Officer, and explain the extent to which these continue to affect the role of the government lawyer today. The discussion will be structured around a number of hypothetical scenarios that may confront a government lawyer.

Presenter: Gabrielle Appleby
Gabrielle Appleby is a Senior Lecturer at the Adelaide Law School. She is currently a PhD candidate researching the role of the Solicitor-General in Australia. She is the co-editor of The Future of Australian Federalism: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2012), the co-author of Public Law (Oxford University Press, 2011), and has published in a number of areas of public law in top ranked peer-reviewed journals and scholarly books. She has worked at Crown Law (Queensland) and the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office. She completed her Master of Laws in 2008 at the University of Melbourne and graduated her LLB with first class honours from the University of Queensland.

Commentator: Martin Hinton QC
Martin Hinton QC is Solicitor-General of South Australia. He was appointed to that position in August 2008. Prior to that he was the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions. He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Adelaide and has undertaken postgraduate study at the University of London. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide.

Date:            20 September 2012

Time:           7.30 am -8.40 am

Breakfast:  A buffet continental breakfast will be served, accompanied by tea, coffee and juice

Venue:        National Wine Centre (Cnr North Tce and Hackney Road)

Cost: $130 – Standard ticket

$110 – Alumni ticket

*$75 – Young lawyers discount ticket (for those who have been admitted for less than 3 years)

The event will attract 1 CPD point in a required unit (practical ethics).

Please RSVP by 18 September

Further information about this CPD event and other CPD events in the Adelaide Law School Breakfast Seminar Series is available here

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