Specialisation: Teaching and researching in the field of Public Law; Constitutional Law Reform, Charters of Right and Human Rights Law, the High Court of Australia, Comparative Public Law, Electoral Law, Federalism and Anti-Terror Law
George Williams, AO is the Anthony Mason Professor, a Scientia Professor and the Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales. As an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, he is engaged in a five year international project on anti-terror laws and democracy. He has held visiting positions at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Columbia University Law School in New York and University College London.
George has written and edited twenty-eight books, including Australian Constitutional Law and Theory and The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia. He has appeared as a barrister in the High Court in some of the most important constitutional law cases of the last two decades, such as Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Case and Plaintiff S157/2002 v Commonwealth. He has also appeared in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Fiji, including in Republic of Fiji v Prasad on the legality of the 2000 coup.
He has served on a number of public inquiries. As Chair of the Victorian Human Rights Consultation Committee in 2005 he helped bring about Australia's first State bill of rights, the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. In 2007 he chaired a NSW Government inquiry into Options for a New National Industrial Relations System that produced the historic referral of State industrial power over the private sector to the Commonwealth. He also served on a High Level Advisory Group on Federal-State Relations to Kevin Rudd MP. More recently, he was a member of the NSW Government's Panel to Examine Recall Elections and assisted the Northern Territory in its renewed attempt to become Australia's seventh State as a member of its Constitutional Convention Committee.
Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales (December 2000 - )
- Anthony Mason Professor
- Scientia Professor; and
- Foundation Director, Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law (Centre Director December 2000 - February 2008)
Faculty of Law, the Australian National University (January 1995 - December 2000)
Officer of the Order of Australia (2011): 'For distinguished service to the law in the fields of anti-terrorism, human rights and constitutional law as an academic, author, adviser and public commentator'.
- Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow
- Fellow, Australian Academy of Law
Human Rights under the Australian Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed 2013), 1 - 388 (with David Hume)
People Power: The History and Future of the Referendum in Australia (University of New south Wales Press, 2010), 1 - 303 (with David Hume)
The High Court, The constitution and Australian Politics (forthcoming by Cambridge University Press) (with Rosalind Dixon)
Tomorrow's Federation: Reforming Australian Government (Federation Press, 2012), 1 - 384 (with Paul Kildea and Andrew Lynch)
Global Anti-Terrorism Law and Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed 2012), 1 - 691 (with Victor Ramraj, Michael Hor and Kent Roach)