Anthony Low Commonwealth Lecture 2023

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

The Australian National University (ANU) College of Asia & the Pacific is proud to present the Anthony Low Commonwealth Lecture 2023: The Coronation, the Commonwealth and government integrity.

Former Professor of Constitutional Law and a Professor Emerita at the University of Sydney, Anne Twomey will deliver the annual lecture, named in honour of former ANU Vice-Chancellor and Commonwealth of Nations scholar, the late Professor Anthony Low AO.

The Coronation of King Charles III is not just a British pageant.  In his Coronation oath, King Charles will swear to govern the peoples of each Commonwealth Realm, including Australia, according to their laws and customs. 

Amidst the glitter of the Coronation regalia we find the Sword of Mercy, the Sword of Temporal Justice, the Sceptre with the Cross, which symbolises regal power and justice, and the Sceptre with the Dove, which represents equity and mercy.  Fundamental to the ceremony is the notion that executive power must be exercised with justice, mercy, equity and in accordance with the rule of law. 

In times when governments often act with stark disregard to these fundamental principles, this lecture will consider what action can be taken to restore government integrity within Australia and across the Commonwealth.

Anne Twomey was previously Professor of Constitutional Law at Sydney Law School and has worked for the High Court of Australia, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Research Service, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee and The Cabinet Office of NSW.  She has written extensively on the Crown in the various Realms, including The Veiled Sceptre - Reserve Powers of Heads of State in Westminster Systems. 

The annual Commonwealth Lecture is an initiative of the Commonwealth Round Table in Australia, which is grateful to ANU for the assurance of its ongoing support for the lecture into the future.

This is an in-person only event. Please join us for light refreshments after.

Registration is essential as seating is strictly limited.

Professor Donald Anthony Low AO

Vice-Chancellor, Australian National University 1975-1982

Professor Donald Anthony Low AO (1927-2015) was Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University from 1975-1982. A distinguished scholar and renowned student mentor his work spanned modern African, Asian and Commonwealth history. He was Founding Dean of the School of African and Asian Studies and a founder of the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University (1964- 1972). Other distinguished posts included Director in the Research School of Pacific Studies, ANU (1973-1975), Smuts Professor of the History of the British Commonwealth, Cambridge (1983-1994) and President of Clare Hall, Cambridge (1987-1994), and Founding Convenor, CRTA Canberra, 2002. His numerous publications include: (ed.) Soundings in Modern South Asian History (1968), Constitutional Heads and Political Crises (1988), The Egalitarian Moment 1950-80 (1996), Fabrication of Empire: The British and the Uganda Kingdoms,1890-1902 (2009).

Date and Times


Room: Molonglo Theatre