Legal advice in the constitutional maelstrom of the Whitlam era
2020 Maurice Byers Lecture
The 2020 Maurice Byers Lecture will be held in the Banco Court on Tuesday 27 October at 5.15 pm. This year's lecture is entitled "Maurice Byers – Legal advice in the constitutional maelstrom of the Whitlam era" and will be given by Professor Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Sydney.
Sir Maurice Byers became Commonwealth Solicitor-General in 1973, serving through the height of the constitutional struggles of the Whitlam era. These included the infamous ‘night of the long prawns’ which raised tricky s 44 issues, the 1974 double dissolution, the Queen of Queensland case and efforts to end Privy Council appeals. Byers also played a role in advising in the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the dismissal of Whitlam Government. This lecture will draw on Byers’ legal opinions, Sir John Kerr’s records, the Palace letters and other primary documents to explore the constitutional issues and the political difficulties that Byers faced in fulfilling his role in this controversial period.
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