Lionel Murphy Scholar Biographical Template

After graduating from ANU in 1989 and working as a Federal
Court associate and for Inner City Legal Centre, Sean spent
several years working for Aboriginal organisations, mainly in
legal policy and research. With assistance from the Lionel
Murphy Foundation, he undertook a Masters in Law at the
Australian National University in 1997, with a focus on native
title and constitutional law. This built on his earlier experience
as a lawyer for Cape York Land Council, and both the National
(NIWG) and Queensland (QIWG) Indigenous Working Groups.
He spent three years with the research service in the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Library before joining the
Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the UNSW Law
Faculty, as Director of its Treaty Project in 2002. In 2005 Sean
joined the full-time teaching staff of the Faculty. He continues
as Director of the Indigenous Legal Issues Project at the
Centre contributing to public debates through submissions and
media commentary, as well as teaching, researching and
publishing in the areas of Indigenous legal issues and
constitutional law. In 2006 he spent several months with
Central Land Council in Alice Springs and has worked with
other organisations in recent years, including the Aurora
Project on professional development programs for Native Title
Representative Body staff.
Indigenous Legal Issues: Commentary and Materials
(Thomson Reuters, 4th ed, 2009) (with Anthony, Beacroft,
Davis, Janke, McRae and Nettheim).
Treaty (Federation Press, 2005) (with Larissa Behrendt, Lisa
Strelein and George Williams).
Book Chapters
‘The Disregard for Legal Protections of Aboriginal Land Rights
in Early South Australia’ in Shaun Berg (ed), Coming to Terms:
Aboriginal Title in South Australia (Wakefield Press, 2009).
‘Whitlam and the Value of Law in Indigenous Affairs: Lessons
for the Contemporary Debate on Reconciliation and a Treaty?’
in Jenny Hocking and Colleen Lewis (eds), It’s Time Again.
Whitlam and Modern Labor (Circa 2003), 138-165.
Selected Articles
‘Compulsory acquisition of native title land for private use by
third parties’ (2008) 19 Public Law Review 179.
‘Economic Development and Land Council Power:
Modernising the Land Rights Act or Same Old Same Old?’
(2006) 10 Australian Indigenous Law Reporter 1.
‘Sovereignty and Treaty-Making between Indigenous Peoples
and Australian Governments’ (2004) 26 Sydney Law Review
307 (with George Williams and Brenda Gunn).
‘Reconciliation in Australia: the Relationship between
Indigenous Peoples and the Wider Community’ (2004) 11
Brown Journal of World Affairs 149.
‘Native Title and the “Acquisition of Property” under the
Australian Constitution’ (2004) 28 Melbourne University Law
Review 28.
‘Native Title in the High Court of Australia a Decade after
Mabo’ (2003) 14 Public Law Review 209.
Selected Submissions
Submission to National Human Rights Consultation
Committee on Indigenous Legal Issues, 15 June 2009.
Submission to Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry
into Petrol Sniffing and Substance Abuse in Central Australia,
27 August 2008 (with Jonathan Dillon).
Submission to the Northern Territory Emergency Response
Review Board on NT Intervention Measures, 22 August 2008.
Submissions to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs
Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Northern Territory
National Emergency Response Bill 2007 & Related Bills, 9/10
August 2007 (with Talia Epstein and Edwina MacDonald).
Submission to Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs
References Committee Inquiry into Stolen Wages (5 October
2006) (with Zoe Craven for the Indigenous Law Centre).
Submission to Senate Community Affairs Legislation
Committee Inquiry into Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern
Territory) Amendment Bill 2006, 17 July 2006.