“Professor Williams is one of Australia’s leading constitutional lawyers and public commentators, and he brings an unrivalled combination of intellectual leadership, social impact and engagement to the role of dean,” said UNSW president and vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs.
Professor Williams joined UNSW from the ANU in 2000, when he was appointed Anthony Mason Professor of Law and foundation director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law.
“A focus of my work over many years has been to communicate about the law and to seek law reform that benefits the community,” said Professor Williams.
“Law schools must do more of this. I want to see UNSW Law make a difference to the quality of people's lives.”
Outside his academic work on anti-terror laws and democracy, Professor Williams has continued to practise as a barrister including appearing in the High Court of Australia in some of the most significant cases of the last two decades.
The current dean of law, Professor David Dixon, is retiring in June after 10 years in the role.
Professor Jacobs said Dean Professor Dixon had taken the faculty “from strength to strength” during his leadership.