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Legal CPD | A New System of Federal Administrative Review

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Event description

On 15 March 2024, the Whitlam Institute, as part of a CPD series exploring the enduring legacy and contemporary relevance of the Whitlam Government’s transformational legal reforms, will examine the law, practice and policy underpinning the legislation to abolish the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and establish a new, fit-for purpose administrative review body, to be named the Administrative Review Tribunal.  

A New System of Federal Administrative Review” features a Keynote Address by Federal Attorney-General the Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP,  plenary addresses from the Hon  Justice Emilios Kyrou AO, President of the AAT, and the Hon Justice Lisa Hespe, Deputy President of the AAT. Attendees will also hear from leading silks Ruth Higgins SC and Tom Brennan SC.

This event is a part of a CPD series that explores the contemporary relevance of the Whitlam government’s bold law reform agenda. The CPD will examine the key reform objective of providing administrative review that is fair and just, resolves applications in a timely manner with as little formality and expense as is consistent with reaching the correct or preferable decision, is accessible and responsive to the diverse needs of parties, improves the transparency and quality of government decision-making, and promotes public trust and confidence in the Tribunal. 

Date: Friday, 15 March 2024.
 1.00pm - 5.00pm
 Court 1, Level 8, Owen Dixon Commonwealth Law Courts 
305 William Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.
$350 per ticket.

Keynote Address: The Hon. Mark Dreyfus KC MP, Attorney General of Australia

The Hon. Mark Dreyfus KC MP was appointed Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 June 2022.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Isaacs in November 2007.

The Attorney-General is a passionate defender of the rule of law, freedom of the press and the need for a powerful and independent national anti-corruption commission. He is also a strong advocate for social justice and believes in creating a sustainable economy and environment for future generations.

Plenary Address: Justice Emilios Kyrou, President of the AAT

Justice Emilios Kyrou is a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and the President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. He was appointed to those roles in June 2023. Upon the establishment of the Administrative Review Tribunal, he will be its inaugural President.

Between May 2008 and July 2014, Justice Kyrou served as a trial judge the Supreme Court of Victoria, and between July 2014 and June 2023 he served as an appellate judge of that Court.

Prior to his judicial appointment, Justice Kyrou was a senior litigation partner in the international legal firm that is now known as King & Wood Mallesons.

His Honour is the second practising solicitor to be appointed directly as a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria since it was established in 1852. He is also the first and only Greek-born judge of a superior court in Australia.

Justice Kyrou was an inaugural member of the Judicial Council on Diversity and Inclusion. He is the patron of the Australian Greek Welfare Society and the Victorian patron of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association.

In the 2023 Australia Day Honours, he was appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia ‘for distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law, to professional associations, and to the community’.

Plenary Address: The Hon. Lisa Hespe, Deputy President of the AAT

Justice Hespe was appointed to the Federal Court on 27 April 2022. 

Justice Hespe graduated with a Bachelor of Economics in 1991 and with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) in 1994 from Monash University, and later obtained her Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne in 2002. Justice Hespe was admitted as a solicitor and barrister in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1995. 

Justice Hespe commenced her career at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons), where she specialised in income tax. From 2012, Justice Hespe was a lecturer at the University of Melbourne. In 2017 she was appointed as a part-time Senior Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and was appointed as Senior Counsel in 2021. In 2023, Justice Hespe was appointed a Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.



  • Ruth Higgins SCRuth Higgins SC is a commercial and public law silk practising nationally from Banco Chambers, Sydney. She is President of the New South Wales Bar Association, a member of the Takeovers Panel, a fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and an Assistant General Editor of the Australian Law Journal. She obtained a DPhil in legal philosophy from Balliol College, University of Oxford in 2001, subsequently published as, The Moral Limits of Law (OUP, 2004).
  • Tom Brennan SC: Tom Brennan has worked in public law, policy and administration, predominantly in the Commonwealth jurisdiction for 43 years including as a ministerial consultant and Principal Advisor to the Hon Brian Howe MP in the Social Security and Health, Housing and Community Services portfolios, as a Senior Executive in the Department of Employment Education and Training and Partner of Corrs Chambers Westgarth. He has practised at the NSW Bar since 2006 and conducts significant public law cases including acting at all levels for Professor Hocking in her successfully accessing the Palace Letters.

    Join us afterward for a reception with drinks and canapes.

    At the completion of this seminar you could earn 3 CPD points. If this educational activity extends your knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to your practice needs of professional development, then you should claim one (1) “unit” for each hour of attendance, refreshment breaks not included.

    This CPD seminar is proudly sponsored by

    Norton Rose Fulbright

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