New Part-time Commissioner appointed to the ALRC

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) welcomes the appointment by Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, of Emeritus Professor Anura Surindra (Suri) Ratnapala as a part-time Commissioner until the conclusion of the Review of Commonwealth Laws for Consistency with Traditional Rights, Freedoms and Privileges.

Professor Ratnapala is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Queensland and a current Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. He held the position of Professor of Public Law at UQ until his retirement at the end of 2014. He is the author many books including Welfare State or Constitutional State?, Australian Constitutional Law: Foundations and Theory, Australian Constitutional Law: Commentary and Cases. He is co-author and co-editor of Jurisprudence of Liberty.  His latest book, Jurisprudence 2nd ed, was published by Cambridge University Press in June 2013.

He has received fellowships from prestigious international research centres and is a recipient of several awards including the Sir Anthony Fisher International Memorial Prize, a John Templeton Foundation Award for his teaching in constitutional law and theory, a Centenary of Australian Federation Medal for his contribution to Australian society through research in law and economics and an Alan McGregor Fellowship of the Centre for Independent Studies. He was elected to the membership of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1998 and served on its Board from 2008 to 2014.

Professor Ratnapala has been a consultant with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and AusAid in institutional capacity building projects in Asia. Prior to entering the academy he was Senior State Counsel in Sri Lanka. Professor Ratnapala’s main academic interests are in constitutional law and theory, legal philosophy, and constitutional political economy field in which he continues to research and publish.

Speaking of the appointment ALRC President Professor Rosalind Croucher AM said, “I am delighted to welcome Emeritus Professor Ratnapala as a new part-time Commissioner to the ALRC to assist in the final stages of the wide-ranging and challenging Freedoms Inquiry. Professor Ratnapala has already been contributing to the ALRC’s thinking by serving on the Advisory Committee. Professor Ratnapala’s experience in constitutional law will be of special value in this current inquiry. I look forward to his further participation in this more formal role”. 

Further information about the ALRC’s work can be found at


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