Arts, Business, Law and Economics Faculty Office
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
John Williams joined the Adelaide Law School in 1997 as a lecturer having completed his doctorate at the Law Program, Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. Prior to his appointment as Professor in Law in 2006 he was a Reader at the Australian National University (2004-2005) and a Senior Lecturer (1999-2003) and Lecturer (1997-1998) at the Adelaide Law School. He has held visiting positions at the University of Victoria, BC (2007), the University of Cape Town (2001) and was the Menzies Foundation Fellow at Kings College London (2002).
John’s main research interest is public law and in particular Australian constitutional law, The High Court of Australia, comparative constitutional law, federalism and legal history. In recent times he has developed his research to investigate water law and the regulation of the Murray-Darling. He has held a number of Australian Research Council and national competitive grants.
He has been co-editor and founder of the New Federalist, and editor of the Australian Journal of Legal History (now Legal History) and the Adelaide Law Review. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Legal History.
John is a member of a number of academic and government committees including the National Archives Advisory Council, Vice-President of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law, and the advisory committee of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and chairs the South Australian Fulbright Committee. He has served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Don Dunstan Foundation and UniBooks Pty Ltd. Since 2009 he has been a consultant to the Good Offices Mission as part of the United Nations peace process in Cyprus.
In 2001 he was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal.
My current research interests are in the areas of public law and legal history. In particular I am interested in the history of federation and the theoretical assumptions in the Australian Constitution such as republican theory. A continuing interest is constitutional reform at both the State and Federal level. Increasingly I am interested in issues of water management and the regulatory framework in Australia.
Date Position Institution name 2016 - ongoing Chair, Academic board The University of Adelaide 2015 - ongoing Pro-Vice Chancellor Research Operations and Dean Graduate Studies The University of Adelaide 2015 - ongoing Dame Roma Mitchel Chair in Law The University of Adelaide 2015 - 2015 Deputy Executive Dean The University of Adelaide 2014 - 2014 Harold White Fellow National Library of Australia 2011 - 2012 Acting Executive Dean University of Adelaide 2011 - 2016 Dean of Law University of Adelaide 2010 - ongoing Foundation Director South Australian Law Reform Institute 2010 - 2010 Acting Dean of Graduate Studies University of Adelaide 2009 - ongoing Acting Dean of Graduate Studies University of Adelaide 2008 - ongoing Acting Dean of Graduate Studies University of Adelaide 2006 - 2010 Professor, Law School University of Adelaide 2006 - 2010 Associal Dean (Research) University of Adelaide 2004 - 2005 Reader Australian National University 2004 - 2005 Reader University of Adelaide 2003 - 2004 Associate Dean (Research) University of Adelaide 2002 - 2002 Menzies Foundation Fellow King’s College 2000 - 2000 Senior Fellow University of Melbourne 1999 - 2003 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide 1997 - 1998 Lecturer University of Adelaide 1995 - 1995 Tutor Constitutional Law Australian National University 1995 - 1995 Tutor Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme Australian National University 1994 - 1994 Research Assistant to Professor Philip Pettit Australian National University 1992 - 1993 Deputy Head Basser College University of New South Wales 1989 - 1990 Tutor Basser College University of New South Wales
Awards and Achievements
Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount 2012 Invitation Invited to submit Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Australia - 2012 Invitation Invited to submit Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Australia - 2010 Invitation Invited to submit Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee - - 2003 Award Centenary Medal Australian Government - - 1997 Award Best Academic University of Adelaide Law School Australia - 1994 Scholarship Post-Graduate Scholarship Australian National University Australia - 1991 Award W Townsley Award University of Tasmania Australia -
Date Institution name Country Title 1997 Australian National University Australia PhD Conferred 1993 - 1997 Australian National University Australia Doctoral Candidate 1991 University of Tasmania Australia Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) 1989 - 1992 University of New South Wales Australia Bachelor of Law 1986 - 1988 University of New South Wales Australia Bachelor of Arts (Majors in Political Science and Industrial Relations)
Date Title Institution Country 1993 - 1993 Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice University of Technology, Sydney Australia
Year Citation 2018 Russell, R. A., williams, J., Szell, C., Gould, D. V., & Hill, C. (2018). Developing a Transparent Supervisor Evaluation System. Poster session presented at the meeting of 3rd International Conference on Developments in Doctoral Education & Training. Stratford upon Avon, United Kingdom.
Report for External Bodies
Year Citation 2022 Plater, D., Brunacci, A., Nicholls, H., Holt, J., Okninski, M., Pandos, O., . . . Williams, J. (2022). 'Autonomy and Safeguarding are not Mutually Inconsistent': A Review of the Operation of the Ageing and Adult Safeguarding Act 1995 (SA) (17). South Australian Law Reform Institute. 2020 Villios, S., Plater, D., Williams, J., Golding, G., Richards, B., Brunacci, A., & Pandos, O. (2020). Review of the Role and Operation of Powers of Attorney in South Australia. Adelaide: SA Law Reform Institute. 2019 Williams, J., Plater, D., Brunacci, A., Kapadia, S., & Oxlad, M. J. (2019). Abortion: A Review of South Australian Law and Practice (13). Adelaide: South Australian Law Reform Institute. 2018 Plater, D., Thompson, M., Moulds, S., Williams, J. M., & Brunacci, A. (2018). Surrogacy: A Legislative Framework: A review of Part 2B of the Family Relationships Act 1975 (SA) (12).
Year Citation 2019 Olijnyk, A. (2019). Justice and Efficiency in Mega-Litigation. 2015 Olijnyk, A. (2015). Justice and Efficiency in Mega-Litigation. (PhD Thesis, University of Adelaide).
Year Citation - Webster, A. L., & Williams, J. (n.d.). Explainer: how are Australia's 'knights and dames' appointed?.
|2014 - 2016||ARC Research Grant||Investigating the uncertainty of the constitutional restrictions confronting State governments when responding to law and order priorities||A/Prof James Stellios and Dr Gabrielle Appleby||$328,000|
|2015||ARC Grant||A partnership with the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) to create a massive expansion of free access online to Australasian legal history through digitisation and data aggregation||$410,000|
|2006||ARC Linkage Grant funded in partnership with the High Court of Australia, National Library of Australia||An oral history of the High Court of Australia||Professor Michael Coper and Dr Fiona Wheeler||$150,715|
|2003||ARC Discovery Grant||A history of the High Court of Australia||$108,000|
|1998||Short Overseas Conference Grant||paper for the Research Committee on Comparative Judicial Studies at the American Political Science Association, Boston||$1,200|
|Centenary of Federation Council||Annotated Constitutions Project||$64,000|
|Centenary of Federation Council||Foundation Editor of The New Federalist: The Journal of Australian Federation History||Hon John Bannon||$48,042|
|1998||University Research Grant||
Undertake research on the original documents related to the Australian Constitution
|1998||Small ARC Grant||
The Constitution and Gambling
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2023 Co-Supervisor Co-management of national parks in South Australia, between the State and Aboriginal groups Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Antoinette Margeaux Hennessy 2020 Co-Supervisor The Modern Interface of Law and Science: CRISPR Technology Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Olga Christine Pandos
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2011 - 2016 Principal Supervisor COAG, Democracy and the Australian Constitution: You can Choose Two Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Mark Bruerton 2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Justice and Efficiency in Mega-Litigation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Anna Olijnyk 2010 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Defining Rights, Powers and Limits in Transboundary River Disputes: A Legal Analysis of the River Murray Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time APrf Adam Webster 2010 - 2012 Principal Supervisor The Constitutional Role of the Solicitor General: An Historical, Legal and Lived Portrait Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time APrf Gabrielle Appleby 2009 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Affirmative Action: A Never-Ending Story? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Nicole Melanie Lederer 2006 - 2007 Principal Supervisor The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the High Court of Australia: Legalism, Realism, Pragmatism, Judicial Power and the Dixon, Mason and Gleeson Eras Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Rachael Gray 2003 - 2011 Co-Supervisor The Eminent Domain in Australia: The 'Individual Rights' Approach to s 51(xxxi) of the Australian Constitution Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Prof Matthew Stubbs
Date Role Board name Institution name Country 2007 - 2008 Member Board RQF Committee University of Adelaide Australia 2000 - 2004 Board Member Board of Management The Don Dunstan Foundation Australia 2000 - 2001 Member Board of Directors UniBooks Pty Ltd Australia
Date Role Committee Institution Country 2016 - ongoing Secretary South Australian Selection Committee Fulbright Commission Australia 2015 - ongoing Chair Panel to Review Mathematical Science University of Adelaide Australia 2011 - ongoing Member Council of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law Australian Association of Constitutional Law Australia 2010 - 2014 Chair South Australian Selection Committee Fulbright Commission Australia 2009 - ongoing Member Centre for Comparative Constitutional Law University of Melbourne Australia 2009 - 2010 Vice-President Australian Association of Constitutional Law Australian Association of Constitutional Law Australia 2008 - 2014 Member National Archives of Australia Advisory Council National Archives of Australia Australia 2008 - ongoing Member Panel to Review of Undergraduate Economics Programs Offered by the Faculty of Profession University of Adelaide Australia 2008 - 2009 Member South Australian Selection Committee Fulbright Commission Australia 2006 - 2009 Secretary Judicial Conference of Australia Inc - Australia 2001 - 2008 Member Council of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law - Australia 2000 - ongoing Member Vice-Chancellor’s Academic Structures Working Party University of Adelaide Australia 2000 - 2001 Chair Law School Admission Committee University of Adelaide Australia 1999 - 2000 Member Law School Executive University of Adelaide Australia 1998 - ongoing Member Inaugural Advisory Committee Australian Association of Constitutional Law Australia 1998 - 2002 Member National Tertiary Education Union University of Adelaide Australia 1998 - 2001 Representative Law Week organising committee University of Adelaide Australia
Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country 2009 - ongoing Good Office Mission Part of the United Nations peace process Civil rights activities Australia 2004 - 2011 National Schools Constitutional Convention - Instructional and training Australia 2003 - 2003 Issues Deliberation Australia - Legislative and political Australia 2001 - 2001 Government of South Australia Department of Education, Training and Employment Business and professional Australia 2000 - ongoing Australian Government National Capital Authority Cultural or historical Australia 1999 - 2001 Australian Government Gambling Research Reference Group- Department of Human Services Business and professional Australia 1996 - 1997 Australian Government National Archives of Australia Cultural or historical Australia
Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country 2006 - 2011 Editor Adelaide Law Review - Australia 1998 - 2002 Editor The New Federalist: The Journal of Australian Federation History - Australia 1997 - 2001 Editor Australian Journal of Legal History - Australia
Date Office Name Institution Country 1999 - 1999 Yes Ambassador South Australia for the Republican Campaign Australia
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