Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Some members of the Alumni will recall that each year Professor Geoff Lindell makes a presentation to the department on a matter of legal or constitutional importance.

Prof Lindell had a distinguished career teaching constitutional law, and has been a consultant to the department since his retirement.

This year Prof Lindell’s talk will be given on 10 November at 11.00 am in Committee Room 2R3. The subject is The Inquisitorial Powers of the Commonwealth Parliament and the Status of Parliamentary Resolutions – A Power to Order the “Creation of Documents” by Public Officials and Private Citizens?

Prof Lindell has provided the following synopsis:

The Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament inherited the same legal powers to send for “persons papers and records” which were enjoyed by the British House of Commons in 1901. This talk questions whether those powers include the authority to order public officials and private citizens to “create” documents in the sense of providing information and documents which go beyond their existing state of knowledge and possession. The opportunity is taken to reflect on the efficacy and legal status of the resolutions passed by those Houses – an issue which was raised in one of the most famous cases on parliamentary privilege, namely Stockdale v Hansard (1839).

Any member of the Alumni who would like to attend will be most welcome. Please email Lynnette Eager at if you would like to join us.