Australian Emergency Law

Discussion on the law that applies to or affects Australia's emergency services and emergency management, by Michael Eburn, PhD, Australian Lawyer. Email:

Conference papers, CPD and community presentations

This page has not been updated since 2018 so is not complete. I’m working on adding relevant papers and presentations to bring the page up-to-date.


  • Australia’s emergency managers – leading, or being led, through change? Presentation at the Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) annual conference, Perth, 6 September 2018 [Powerpoint].
  • Will I be sued?’ Legal considerations in first aid: Duty of care; Good Samaritan and volunteer protection; and Consent. Presentation at National Institute of First Aid Trainers, Sydney 25 August 2018 [Powerpoint][Video].
  • Volunteers before the courts – when and why?  Presentation at NSW Rural Fire Service Association Annual Conference, Sydney 7 and 8 July 2018 [Powerpoint] [Video]
  • Open forum. NSW SES Southern Highlands Region Controller Leadership Forum, Yass 19 May 2018 [Powerpoint].
  • Clearing up the legal myths. Presentation at St John Ambulance Australia National Conference, Canberra, 5 May 2018 [Powerpoint].
  • Work Legally and Ethically. Contribution to training for recruit ACT Ambulance Call takers, ACT Emergency Services Agency Training Centre, Hume, 20 April 2018.
  • Clearing up the legal myths. Presentation at St John Ambulance (NSW) Professional Development Day, Burwood, 25 February 2018 [Powerpoint].


  • Sharing responsibility and making communities resilient? Presentation at South Australian Zone Emergency Management Symposium, Camden Park, 30 November 2017 [Powerpoint].

  • Legal Issues: NSW SES Southern Highlands Region Controllers Professional Development Workshop, ACT Emergency Services Agency Training Centre, Hume, 18 November 2017 [Powerpoint].

  • Legal Issues for CareFlight. Presentation to CPD evening for CareFlight medical and aircrew, Westmead, 9 November 2017 [Powerpoint].

  • Compulsory Third Party Insurance in the Australian Capital Territory. Expert witness presentation to the ACT CTP Citizen’s Jury.  14 October [Powerpoint] and 28 October [Powerpoint].

  • Reviewing high risk and high consequence decisions: finding a safer way. Presentation to the annual joint conference of the Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) and the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Sydney, 5 September 2017 [Powerpoint] [Audio].

  • Balancing nature conservation and risk management. Presentation to the National Parks Association (ACT) Bushfire Management – Balancing the Risks Symposium, Canberra, 21 July 2017 [Extract from Symposium proceedings] [Audio].

  • Eburn, M and Collins, A ‘Recognising Limits of International Law in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) as Problem and Solution’.  Presentation and the International Law and Disaster Risk Reduction Symposium, University of Reading (UK), 29 June 2017. [Website][Powerpoint] [Audio].
  • Legal issues in CPR. Presentation (via videoconference) to the Resus @ The Park, Luna Park, Sydney, 2 June 2017 [Website] [Powerpoint] [Audio] [Pre-recorded video for use if the videoconference failed].
  • Lessons From Disasters? Looking For A New Way To Learn. Presentation at the UK Cabinet Office’s Emergency Planning College, Easingwolds (York) 17 May 2017 [Website] [Powerpoint] [Audio].
  • Disasters and Law. Lecture for students enrolled in KE6017 – Development and Disasters at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 9 March 2017 [Powerpoint] [Audio part 1][Audio part 2].
  • Recognising the limits of International law in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) – why it is part of the problem, and only part of the solution. Staff Seminar presented at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1 March 2017 [Powerpoint] [Audio].
  • Reviewing High Risk and High Consequence Decisions: Finding a Safer Way. Paper presented at the 14th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit, Barcelona (Spain), 31 January 2017 [Website] [Powerpoint] [Audio].
  • International Disaster Law- an issue of Sovereign or Human Rights?  Presentation at the inaugural conference of the UK Alliance for Disaster Research, King’s College, London, 9 January 2017 [Website] [Powerpoint].















  • Emergency Law. Keynote address, Institute of Ambulance Officers National Conference, Sydney, 14 October 1999.
  • Legal Issues. (Keynote address) Carer Respite Centres State Conference, Coffs Harbour, 18 September 1999. [Powerpoint].
  • Duty of Care and Community Health Workers. Community Health Workers Seminar, Tweed Heads, March 1998.
  • End of Life Decisions- where are we now? (Plenary session.) Managing End of Life Decisions, Rural Doctors Resource Network, Armidale 26-27 July 1997.
  • Danger and Response: Identifying and Avoiding Legal Issues for St JohnSt John Ambulance Australia (Vic), Commissioner’s Conference, Melbourne, August 1997 and National Management Training Seminar, Sydney, April 1997.
  • Ethical Issues in Active Voluntary Euthanasia. Centre for Health, Law, Ethics and Policy: Human Life and Death forum, University of Newcastle, 6 December 1996.
  • Setting the Standards for Medical Negligence: The Bolam Test post Rogers v Whitaker. Continuing Legal Education Seminar, University of New England, 24 October 1996.
  • Director’s Duties. Legal and Insurance Issues for Community Health Workers Seminar, Port Macquarie, July 1996.
  • Duty of Care and Community Health Workers. Legal and Insurance Issues for Community Health Workers Seminar, Port Macquarie, July 1996.
  • Death Gives Birth to the need for new LawChristian Centre for Bioethics 10th Annual Bioethics Conference, Sydney Adventist Hospital, 24-25 March 1996.
  • Duty of Care and Community Health Workers. Ballina Primary Health Care Seminar, Lismore, October, 1995.
  • Legal Implications of withholding resuscitation. St John Ambulance Australia (NSW) Instructors Conference, Sydney, September 1995.
  • Voluntary Euthanasia- The Northern Territory Experience. Department of Law Research Seminar, University of New England, 28 July 1995.
  • Duty of Care and Community Health Workers. Community Options Conference, Coffs Harbour, 17 March 1995.
  • Liabilities of Directors and Staff. Aged Services Association (New England Branch) Industrial Seminar, Armidale, October 1994.
  • Bioethics and the Challenge of Technological ChangeThe Mid-North Coast Social Science Teachers’ Association HSC Legal Studies Student Seminar, Coffs Harbour, September 1994.
  • Professional Responsibilities. Community Organisations and the Law Conference, Armidale, June 1994.
  • Ethics in Home and Community Care. Community Organisations and the Law Conference, Armidale, June 1994.
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