Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Bede Harris

Dr Bede Harris

BA(Mod) Dublin, LLB Rhodes, DPhil Waikato

Bede Harris is a native of Zimbabwe. He has a BA(Mod) from Trinity College, University of Dublin, and LLB (cum laude) from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, and a DPhil from the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. He has previously taught at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg; the University of Waikato; James Cook University and the University of Canberra.

Bede's primary areas of teaching are Business Law and Corporations Law. His areas of research are Constitutional Law (particularly constitutional reform), Indigenous legal issues, Corporations Law and Consumer Law.

In 2001 Bede was awarded a Fulbright Senior Fellowship and attended the American Studies Institute held at the Meyner Centre for the Study of Government at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where teachers of Constitutional Law from a variety of jurisdictions studied IUS constitutional law, before travelling in the south-west of the United States to study native American self-government.

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Research Focus

  • Constitutional Law
  • Indigenous legal issues
  • Corporations Law
  • Consumer Law
Research Project Supervision

Supervision at Honours, Masters and PhD level in the fields of Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Corporations Law.

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Professional Activities

In 2007 Bede worked as a Senior Legal Consultant in the Finance and Revenue unit of the Office of General Counsel at the Australian Government Solicitor in Canberra, which provides advice to Commonwealth government agencies on constitutional matters, on compliance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (Cth), and on general administrative law matters. Bede also served as a member of the Commonwealth Department of Families, Health, Community Services and Ageing (FaHCSIA) Research Ethics Committee.

Bede has made written and oral representations to legislative committee enquiries on constitutional law, human rights protection and civics education within my areas of expertise. He was a moderator of community discussions during the 1999 Republic Referendum, and was co-sponsor of proposal adopted by the Peoples Conference at Corowa, which was convened in December 2001 to consider processes which might be used to put the issue of an Australian Republic before voters. He contributes to the print and electronic media.

Bede is a member of the Australasian Law Teachers' Association (ALTA), the Corporate Law Teachers Association (CLTA) and the Australian - American Fulbright Association.

Consultancies

Bede has had consultancies with the Australian Institute of Company Directors, delivering the Legal Environment module of the Practice of Directorship course. He has also delivered modules on Directors' and Officers' duties, Trade Practices, Corporate Governance, and Ethics for the CPA Australia accreditation course. He has also taught Australian Legal Foundations on behalf of IIBT Pte Ltd (Singapore) to students at Universities in China.

Grants and Awards
  • University of Waikato, University Research Committee Grant. Project: 'Freedom of Expression and Human Dignity', 1994.
  • ARC Small Grant. Project: 'Australia and South Africa: Comparative Studies on Customary Law and Hate Speech', 1997.
  • Fulbright Scholarship - American Studies Institute, Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, United States of America, 2001.

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Publications

Books

Bede Harris, Constitutional Reform as a Remedy for Political Disenchantment in Australia – The Discussion We Need (Springer, 2020).

Bede Harris, Constitutional Law Guidebook (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 2015).

Bede Harris, Exploring the Frozen Continent: What Australians Think of Constitutional Reform (Vivid Publishing, 2014).

Bede Harris, Freedom, Democracy and Accountability – A Vision for a New Australian Constitution (Vivid Publishing, 2012).

Bede Harris, Essential Constitutional Law (Cavendish Publishing, 2004).

Bede Harris, A New Constitution for Australia (Cavendish Publishing, 2002).

Laurence Boulle, Bede Harris and Cora Hoexter, Constitutional and Administrative Law - Basic Principles (Juta & Co, 1989).

Chapters in books

Bede Harris, ‘Recognising Indigenous Law in Australia: Drawing on the African Experience’ in Beyond the Republic: Meeting the Global Challenges to Constitutionalism Charles Sampford and Tom Round (eds), (Federation Press, 2001).

Bede Harris, ‘The Right to Group Association and the Protection of Ethnic and Cultural Groups’ in Cowling and Barrett (eds) Debating a Bill of Rights (Liberal Democratic Association, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 1991).

Encyclopaedia contributions

Australian Law Dictionary (Oxford University Press) 2009 – entries in fields of Corporations Law and Constitutional Law.

Thesis

Bede Harris, Freedom of Expression and Human Dignity, Doctoral thesis, University of Waikato (1996), published on microfilm through UMI Dissertation Services (Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA), Microfilm No. 9720737.

Journal articles

Bede Harris, ‘The Case for Codifying the Powers of the Office of Governor-General.’ (2019) 16 Canberra Law Review 65.

Bede Harris, ‘Do the Queensland Regulations Governing the Refund of Motor Vehicle Registration Fees Breach s 92 of the Commonwealth Constitution?’ (2019) 12 Journal of Politics and Law 8.

Bede Harris, ‘Separation of powers at State level: Going the whole hog instead of making the dog bark many times’ (2018) 15 Canberra Law Review 73.

Bede Harris and Elizabeth Harris, ‘Interfering Busybody or Public-Minded Citizen? The Actio Popularis as a Model for Reform of the Rules of Standing in Constitutional Cases in Australia,’ (2018) 11 Journal of Politics and Law 62.

Bede Harris, ‘A Roman law solution to an eternal problem: A proposed new dignitary tort to remedy sexual harassment’ (2017) 43 Alternative Law Journal 200.

Bede Harris, ‘Human Rights and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate in Australia’ (2017) 10 Journal of Politics and Law 60.

Bede Harris, ‘Constitutional implications of a zombie outbreak’ (2016) 14 Canberra Law Review 17.

Bede Harris, ‘Too much law and not enough theory – A critique of the Commonwealth Constitution’ (2016) 18 Southern Cross University Law Review 3.

Bede Harris, ‘Reforming the Office of Speaker’ (2016) 41 Alternative Law Journal 89.

Bede Harris, ‘Does the Commonwealth Electoral Act Satisfy the Requirement that Representatives be ‘Directly Chosen’ by the People?’ (2016) 4 Journal of Politics and Law 78.

Bede Harris, ‘Representative Democracy and Responsible Government – Two Australian Constitutional Myths’ (2015) 13 Canberra Law Review 3.

Bede Harris, ‘Third Party Suspicion of Lack of Authority on the Part of Company Agents – A Comparative Study and a Suggested Rule’ (2015) 8 Journal of Politics and Law 98.

Bede Harris, ‘A Survey of Voter Attitudes to Constitutional Reform’ (2014) 12 Canberra Law Review 109.

Bede Harris, ‘The Under-Development in Australia of the Doctrine in Kruse v Johnson’ (2013) 6 Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association 33.

Bede Harris, ‘Economic costs in fixed-rate home loan provisions and breaches of Australian consumer law’ (2013) 6 Journal of Politics and Law 95.

Bede Harris, ‘Enhancing critical thinking and international comparative approaches to constitutional law education in Australia’ (2012) 5 Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers’ Association 41.

Bede Harris, ‘Embedding Indigenous Experiences into the Teaching of Corporations Law’, (2012) 4 Ngiya: Talk the Law 16.

Bede Harris, ‘A critique of the CCAAC Report of 2009 and the statutory guarantee of acceptable quality in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)’ (2011) 19 Competition and Consumer Law Journal 152.

Bede Harris, ‘A Model Australian Code Relating to Defective Goods’ (2010) 3 Journal of Politics and Law 15.

Bede Harris, ‘The Place of Indigenous Rights in the Bill of Rights Debate – A Rawlsian Justification’ (2009) 13 Australian Indigenous Law Reporter 70.

Bede Harris, ‘The Bill of Rights Debate in Australia - A Study in Constitutional Disengagement’ (2009) 3 Journal of Politics and Law 2.

Bede Harris, ‘Parliamentary Scrutiny of the Executive – A Proposal for Constitutional Reform’ (2006) 9 Canberra Law Review 19.

Bede Harris, ‘Legal Pluralism and a Bill of Rights – the South African Experience’, (2006) 10 Australian Indigenous Law Reporter 1.

Bede Harris, ‘Censorship: A Comparative Approach Offering A New Theoretical Basis For Classification in Australia’ (2005) 8 Canberra Law Review 25.

Bede Harris, ‘Insulting speech and the implied freedom of political communication’ (2005) (2) Student Law Reporter 16.

Bede Harris, ‘Developments in Australian Corporations and Investment Law and their Impact on Australian Overseas Trade’ (2004) 5 Taiwanese Journal of Australian Studies 51.  

Bede Harris, ‘Privative clauses and the High Court’s jurisdiction under s 75(v) of the Constitution’ (2004) (1) Student Law Reporter 13.

Bede Harris, ‘Defamation and freedom of political expression in Australia and South Africa – the opportunities missed in Lange’ (2001) 6 Media and Arts Law Review 79.

Bede Harris, ‘Race Vilification Laws – A Comparative Perspective’ (1999) 6 Canberra Law Review 233.

Bede Harris, ‘Indigenous Law in South Africa – Lessons for Australia?’ (1999) 5 James Cook University Law Review 70

Bede Harris, ‘Pell v Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria - The ‘Piss Christ’ Case and Freedom of Expression’ (1998) 22 Melbourne University Law Review 217.

Bede Harris, ‘Christensen v Scott - Undermining the Fundamentals of Company Law?’ (1997) 15 Company and Securities Law Journal 67.

Bede Harris, ‘Viewpoint Neutrality and Freedom of Expression in New Zealand’ (1996) 8 Otago Law Review 515.

Bede Harris, ‘An erosion of minority shareholder rights?’ [1996] Company and Securities Law Bulletin 66.

Bede Harris, ‘The New South African Constitution’ [1995] New Zealand Law Journal 17.

Bede Harris, ‘Fiduciary duties of directors under the Companies Act 1993’ [1994] New Zealand Law Journal 242.

Bede Harris, Book Review: ‘Public Law in New Zealand - Cases, Materials, Commentary and Questions by Mai Chen and Sir Geoffrey Palmer’ (1993) 1 Waikato Law Review 177.

Bede Harris, ‘Appointments to the Bench - The Role of a Judicial Services Commission’ (1993) 15 Adelaide Law Review 191.

Bede Harris, ‘Prerogative Powers and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990’ (1993) 15 New Zealand Universities Law Review 323.

Bede Harris, ‘Basic requirements of s 23(1)(b) of the Bill of Rights Act’ [1993] New Zealand Law Journal 86.

Bede Harris, ‘Unconsciousness and s 23(1)(b) of the Bill of Rights’ [1993] New Zealand Law Journal 4.

Bede Harris, ‘Being informed of the right to consult a lawyer’ [1992] New Zealand Law Journal 304.

Bede Harris, ‘Interim Constitutional Arrangements’ (1992) 7 S A Public Law 64.

Bede Harris, ‘Constitutional Mechanisms for the Protection of Group Rights’ (1991) 2 Stellenbosch Law Review 49.

Bede Harris, ‘The court plucks the South African Defence Force’s Tailfeathers’ (June 1990) Lawyers for Human Rights - Pietermaritzburg Bulletin

Bede Harris, ‘The KwaZulu Natal Indaba Constitutional Proposals’ (1988) 3 S A Public Law 46.

Bede Harris and Cora Hoexter, ‘Administrative Law in Contractual Disguise’ (1987) 104 South African Law Journal 557.

Bede Harris, ‘The Distinction between Wrongfulness and Fault’ (1987) 50 THRHR 484.

Bede Harris, ‘Religious Convictions and Conscientious Objection’ (1987) 3 South African Journal on Human Rights 240.

Conference papers

Bede Harris, ‘An Argument in Favour of Constitutional Reform’ (2016) 66 Papers on Parliament – Senate Occasional Lecture Series 101.

Bede Harris, ‘The Under-Development in Australia of the Doctrine in Kruse v Johnson’, Administrative Law interest group, Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference, Canberra, 29 September - 1 October 2013.

Bede Harris, ‘Enhancing critical thinking and international comparative approaches to constitutional law education in Australia’, Constitutional Law interest group, Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference, Sydney, 1-4 July 2012.

Bede Harris, ‘Parliamentary Scrutiny of the Executive – A Proposal for Constitutional Reform’, Government Law interest group, Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference, Melbourne, 4-7 July 2006.

Bede Harris, ‘Developments in Australian Corporations and Investment Law and their Impact on Australian Overseas Trade’, International Conference on Taiwan-Australia Relations in the Context of the WTO, College of International Affairs, National Chengchi University, Taipei, 8-9 October 2003.

Bede Harris, ‘Mooting as a Teaching and Evaluation Tool’, Legal Education Interest Group, Australasian Law Teachers’ Association Conference, Canberra, 2-5 July 2000.

Bede Harris, ‘Recognising Indigenous Law in Australia - Drawing on the African Experience’, 1999 Fulbright Symposium ‘Beyond the Republic: Meeting the Global Challenges to Constitutionalism’, KCELJAG, Brisbane, 29 Sept - 1 Oct 1999.

Bede Harris, ‘Christensen v Scott - Challenging the Fundamentals of Company Law in New Zealand?’, Company Law interest group, Australasian Law Teachers Association Conference, Adelaide, 10-13 July 1996.

Bede Harris, ‘Constitutional Mechanisms for the Protection of Group Rights’, Conference on Constitutional Options for South Africa, Magaliesberg, 3-4 May 1990.

Legislative submissions and reports

Submission to the Joint Committee on Electoral Matters, 2019.

Submission to the Joint Committee Relating to Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Peoples, 2018.

Submission to Religious Freedom Review 2018

Submission to the Joint Committee on Electoral Matters, 2016.

Submission to the Joint Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander People, 2015.

Submission to National Human Rights Consultation, 2009.

Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, 2006.

Submission to Senate Constitutional References Committee on an Australian Republic, 2004.

Submission to ACT Legislative Assembly Committee on a Bill of Rights for the ACT, 2002.

Submission to South African Law Commission project on Constitutional Models for South Africa, 1990.

Report on the Bill of Rights contained in the KwaZulu Natal Indaba Constitutional Proposals Internal Report for the KwaZulu Natal Indaba, 1989.

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