Anonymous asked: Who writes the best scathing dissenting judgments, Michael Kirby or Antonin Scalia?

Without a doubt Justice Scalia.  When it comes to vitriol Justice Kirby doesn’t even come close.


Anonymous asked: I'm just curious to hear your thoughts about the (relatively) new campaign for HIV. 'Treat early and protect your partners'. Are you for or against?

I think you’re referring to the Ending HIV campaign?  And I am strongly in favour of that campaign.  I think it’s a really important campaign that emphasises the practical things we all need to do to end HIV by 2020.


Anonymous asked: Who would you like to see appointed to the HC when Justices Hayne and Crennan retire next year?

I must admit I haven’t really given this much thought yet but the first two names that come to mind are Brett Walker (a leading silk) and Chris Kourakis, the Chief Justice of South Australia (if for no other reason than the fact that South Australia has never had a high court judge before). 


Anonymous asked: Why is Constitutional Law such a pain in the behind?

But in a good way, right? 


Anonymous asked: Hey Peter :) I just watched your Tedx talk and as a former student of yours I wanted to tell you that you are the reason why the Constitution turns me on. I once thought of constitutional law as dull and boring but thanks to you I think I might study it further in my LLM. Don't worry, people do find it sexy ;)

Thank you! 


Anonymous asked: How was your day?

Busy, stressful.


Anonymous asked: Who was your favourite lecturer at UQ that still teaches there? Are you friends or keep in touch with any of the staff there (except your mum :))?

My favourite lecturer at the time was without a doubt Professor Gabriel Moens, who is now at Curtin University.  He was a brilliant scholar, teacher and mentor, and every time I give a lecture on constitutional law, I aim to emulate him and make him proud.

As for my favourite lecturer who still teaches there, it would have to be the other person that lectured me constitutional law, Professor Suri Ratnapala. 

And yes I am friends with several staff members at UQ and stay in touch with them regularly.


Anonymous asked: What podcasts do you subscribe / listen to?

These are the podcasts I never miss an episode of: 99% Invisible; This American Life; Gold Derby; Indiewire Screen Talk; KCRW’s Left, Right and Center; Ken Rudin’s Political Junkie; NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour; On the Media; Connected (formerly The Prompt); Slate Culture Gabfest; Slate Doubt X Gabfest; Slate Money; Slate Political Gabfest; Slate’s The Gist; Washington Week

I also always listen to the four Sunday morning US political talk shows: This Week; Face the Nation; Fox News Sunday; and Meet the Press.

And these are podcasts I listen to regularly but not necessarily every episode: Accidental Tech Podcast; The Brian Lehrer Show; The Bugle; Download This Show; Grantland Pop Culture; Media Report; The Moth; The New Yorker Political Scene; NextMarket Podcast; NPR’s Fresh Air; NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me; Political Wire Podcast; Real Time with Bill Maher; The Sporkful; We The People Podcasts; WTF with Marc Maron.

For the record, my favourite podcast at the moment is Slate’s The Gist with Mike Pesca.


Anonymous asked: Assuming Tasmania was willing to renounce its statehood to become a Territory (a) how would the people of Tasmania do so; and (b) how would the loss of Tasmania status as a state be addressed under the existing constitutional arrangements between the states and territories? Assuming that Tasmania was not willing to renounce its statehood, what measure/s could the rest of the country take to achieve the same result?

The Constitution doesn’t actually make any express provision for a state to renounce its statehood.  The Constitution does, however, provide for new states (ss 121, 124) and alteration of limits of States (s 123).  It may, however, be possible (under s 128) to amend the Constitution by referendum to remove Tasmania as a state.  Such a change, however, would require a majority of voters in Tasmania to approve.


Anonymous asked: Hi Peter, Tasmania ranks at the bottom among Australian states on virtually every dimension of economic, social, and cultural performance: highest unemployment, lowest incomes, languishing investment, lowest home prices, least educated, lowest literacy, most chronic disease, poorest longevity, most likely to smoke, greatest obesity, highest petty crime, worst domestic violence. Shockingly, less than half of Tasmanian adults can read and write properly. It’s time to discuss federal intervention.

I’m not sure if all of those statements about Tasmania are correct.  But even if they are, I’m not necessarily convinced that Tasmania renouncing its statehood (as you propose in your follow up question) is the best option.  


Anonymous asked: Hi Peter, I'm contemplating doing my LLM at UQ straight after graduating from my LLB in 2015, but I'm nervous as to whether the transition to post-grad law study straight after graduation would be too great a leap. As an LLM graduate, what are your thoughts?

I think it really depends on your future career plans.  If you are wanting to practice, I think it makes sense to get into practice as soon as possible.  If, however, you are thinking of a career in government or academia, then moving into postgraduate law study makes a lot of sense.


Anonymous asked: Why does QUT appear in the top 500 on QS and THE rankings, but not on ARWU?

Each ranking system has its own unique and somewhat arbitrary methodology, so it’s a complete mystery to me! 


Anonymous asked: Melbourne and Sydney both have 2 Go8 unis, but the rest of the capital cities only have 1. Considering that Brisbane is the 3rd largest city in Australia, do you think QUT might in the future be elevated to Go8 (or I suppose then it would be called 'Go9') status ;)?

I think for historical reasons, the Go8 will always be the Go8.


Anonymous asked: When is the QUT law revue?

I don’t actually know.  Sometime in October I think?


Anonymous asked: Just wondering when the Journalism Law assignment will be released?

The LWS011 Journalism Law assignment topic will be released next week.