Adam Webster

Adam Webster

Departmental Lecturer in Law and Public Policy, Co-Director of the MPP

Dr Adam Webster is a Departmental Lecturer in Law and Public Policy and Co-Director of the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. Adam has a particular interest in how public law affects and shapes contemporary legal problems.

Prior to joining the Blavatnik School, Adam was a lecturer at the Law School at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Laws and PhD in Law from the same institution. As part of his PhD, Adam was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and completed a component of his doctoral research at the University of Colorado and the University of Arizona.


+44 (0)1865 614 382


Journal Articles / Book chapters

A Webster, B Richards, M de Zwart, A Reilly, S Le Mire, ‘Enhancing the First Year Experience: Law School “Boot Camp”’ (2018) 28 Legal Educations Review 1

A Webster, ‘A Colonial History of the River Murray Dispute’ (2017) 38 Adelaide Law Review 13

G Appleby and A Webster, ‘Executive Power Under the Constitution: A Presidential and Parliamentary System Compared’ (2016) 87 University of Colorado Law Review 1129

A Webster, ‘Sharing Water From Transboundary Rivers: Limits on State Power’ (2016) 44 Federal Law Review 25

P Burdon, G Drew, M Stubbs, A Webster and M Barber, 'Decolonising Indigenous Water "Rights": Flow, Difference and the Limits of Law' in T Neale and S Turner, Other People’s Country: Law, Water and Entitlement in Settler Colonial Studies (Routledge, 2016) 58-73

G Appleby and A Webster, ‘Cycling and the Law’ (2016) 39(1) University of New South Wales Law Journal 129

A Webster, ‘Sharing Water from Transboundary Rivers in Australia - An Interstate Common Law?’ (2015) 39 Melbourne University Law Review 263

P Burdon, G Drew, M Stubbs, A Webster and M Barber, ‘Decolonising Indigenous Water "Rights": Flow, Difference and the Limits of Law’ (2015) 5 Settler Colonial Studies 334

G Appleby and A Webster, ‘Parliament’s Role in Constitutional Interpretation’ (2013) 37 Melbourne University Law Review 255

A Webster and JM Williams, ‘Can the High Court Save the Murray River?’ (2012) 29 Environment and Planning Law Journal 281

A Webster, ‘Expanding the Role of Victims and the Community in Sentencing’ (2011) 35 Criminal Law Journal 21

JM Williams and A Webster, ‘Section 100 and State Water Rights’ (2010) 21 Public Law Review 267

A Webster, ‘Horncastle v R: Statements from Witnesses Absent at Trial’ (2009) 13 The International Journal of Evidence & Proof 324  

A Webster, ‘Recklessness: Awareness, Indifference or Belief?’ (2007) 31 Criminal Law Journal 272

Other Publications

Matthew Stubbs and Adam Webster, ‘Eligibility for Election to the Commonwealth Parliament: The Coming-of-Age of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution’ (2018) 40(1) Law Society of South Australia Bulletin 6

A Webster, ‘Book Review: Federal Rivers - Managing Water in Multi-Layered Political Systems’ (2015) 17 Water Policy 558

A Webster, ‘Book Review: Blackstone and his Commentaries – Biography, Law, History’ (2015) 40(1) Alternative Law Journal 69

A Webster, 'The Constitution and the Murray-Darling Basin' (2014) 36(9) Law Society of South Australia Bulletin 14

Conference Papers and Seminar Presentations

A Webster, ‘Referendums and Representative Government: When to Seek the Views of the People?’ (Paper presented as part of the Rector’s Seminar Series, Exeter College, Oxford, 10 May 2017)

A Webster, ‘When Should Parliament Consult the People? Referendums in the UK, Australia and New Zealand’ (Paper presented at Democracy Beyond Elections: Empowering Citizens, Strengthening Participation, University of Bristol Law School, 17-18 March 2017)

A Webster, ‘Referenda and Plebiscites in the Classroom’ (Paper presented at the Paper presented at the Annual Legal Education Teachers Association of South Australia, University of South Australia, 19 August 2016) (invited) 

G Appleby and A Webster, ‘Executive Power Under the Constitution: A Presidential and Parliamentary System Compared’ (Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Ira C Rothgerber Jr Conference on Constitutional Law, Colorado Law School, 15-16 October 2015) (invited)

A Webster, ‘Enlivening the Constitution’ (Paper presented at the Annual Legal Education Teachers Association of South Australia, South Australian Parliament House, 14 August 2015) (invited)

A Webster, ‘Troubled Waters: Constitutional issues in water regulation in the Murray Darling Basin’ (South Australian Chapter of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law seminar, 8 September 2014) (invited)

A Webster, Rivers of Reform: Lessons from the Colorado and Murray-Darling (Panellist at workshop at Australian National University, Crawford School of Public Policy, 23 September 2013) (invited)

JM Williams and A Webster, ‘What are the Problems with Sharing Water between and within States of Australia?’ (Paper presented at River Murray Water Justice Forum, Hawke Centre, University of South Australia, 1 August 2012) (invited)

A Webster, ‘Interstate Water Rights’ (Paper presented at Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law Postgraduate Workshop, University of New South Wales, 12-13 July 2012)

A Webster, ‘Interstate Water Rights: The River Murray Dispute’ (Seminar presented to staff and postgraduate students, University of Adelaide Law School, 24 June 2011)

A Webster, ‘What Can We Learn From Early Colonial Disputes Over The Murray River?’ (Paper presented at 29th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference, Melbourne, 13-15 December 2010). I was awarded a Bruce Kercher Conference Scholarship to attend and present at the conference.   

R Seracino, K Daniell, A Webster and L Doherty, ‘Development of a CD-ROM to Encourage Self Learning’ (Paper presented at 12th Annual Australian Association for Engineering Education Conference, Brisbane, September 2001)

Submissions to Government Organisations and Inquiries

M Stubbs and A Webster, Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Inquiry into matters relating to Section 44 of the Constitution, 8 February 2018

A Webster, Submission to the Australian Sports Commission, Submission regarding ‘Governance Report in Sport: Discussion Paper’, 18 December 2015

A Webster (on behalf of the Public Law and Policy Research Unit), Submission No 2 to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Inquiry into the matter of a popular vote, in the form of a plebiscite or referendum, on the matter of marriage in Australia, 31 August 2015

A Reilly, G Appleby, A Webster and L Grenfell (on behalf of the Public Law and Policy Research Unit) Submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Inquiry into the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (Improved Oversight and Resourcing) Bill 2014, 27 January 2015

G Appleby, A Reilly, M Stubbs, A Webster, J Williams, Submission to the National Commission of Audit, Reform of roles and responsibilities of Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, November 2013

G Appleby, S Le Mire, G Lindell, A Olijnyk, A Reilly, M Stubbs, A Webster, J Williams, Submission No 7 to Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Inquiry into Courts Legislation Amendment (Judicial Complaints) Bill 2012 and Judicial Misbehaviour and Incapacity (Parliamentary Commissions) Bill 2012, 26 April 2012


Budget explainer: the federal-state battle for funding’ on The Conversation (19 April 2017)

Explainer: the same-sex marriage plebiscite’ on The Conversation (14 September 2016)

Explainer: what is a ‘hung parliament’, and how will a government be formed?’ on The Conversation (3 July 2016)

Election explainer: what does it mean that we’re having a double-dissolution election’ on The Conversation (8 May 2016)

Interactive: profiles of the cabinet and shadow cabinet’ on The Conversation (4 April 2016)

Explainer: what are double-dissolution elections? And why might we soon have one?’ on The Conversation (22 March 2016)

Getting bike laws right means balancing rights of cyclists and motorists’ on The Conversation (27 February 2016)

Coalition tensions expose the flaws of the same-sex marriage plebiscite’ on The Conversation (28 January 2016)

Can the Senate force the removal of a royal commissioner’ on The Conversation (7 September 2015)

Would a plebiscite on marriage equality do anything' on New Matilda (13 August 2015)

Explainer: how Australia can legalise same-sex marriage’ on The Conversation (2 June 2015)

Explainer: how are Australia's “knights and dames” appointed?’ on The Conversation (28 January 2015) (with J M Williams)

Could the Constitution protect farm water from coal seam gas?’ on The Conversation (23 January 2015)

Don’t expect ‘world first’ impact statement to transform sentencing’ on The Conversation (19 January 2015) (with K Toole)

Explainer: can the Senate block the budget?’ on The Conversation (19 May 2014)