Kieran Pender

is a writer, lawyer and academic. He is an honorary lecturer at the ANU College of Law.

By this author

News July 01, 2023

Tony Burke on his plans to reform the gig economy

As minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Tony Burke has made it his mission this year to fix the inequity of the gig economy.

News June 10, 2023

Landmark win in age discrimination case

Australia’s first successful age discrimination claim could be a lightning rod case for other workers to vindicate their rights.

Comment March 18, 2023

Whistleblowers need protection

“Whistleblowers are vital actors in our democracy, upholding our right to know. Without them – and the public interest journalism they make possible – corruption and human rights abuses go unaddressed.”

podcast November 24, 2022

Migrant workers died to bring us this World Cup

Journalist Kieran Pender on how the world game found itself defending human rights abuses.

Culture October 15, 2022

Hard Labour: wage theft in the age of inequality

In recent years, it has felt as if wage theft stories break in the Australian media on a monthly basis. Ben Schneiders, an award-winning journalist with The Age, has been responsible for most of them. His reporting – often with colleague Royce …

News October 08, 2022

The High Court’s newest justice, Jayne Jagot

Jayne Jagot’s meteoric rise to the High Court delivers the first majority-female bench in history and a fresh, compassionate perspective.

Comment October 01, 2022

The status of free speech in Australia

“Thirty years ago this week, something extraordinary happened. In two judgements issued on the same day by the High Court, a central democratic principle – the implied freedom of political communication – was explicitly recognised for the first …”

podcast September 27, 2022

‘This is not justice’: the law keeping more people locked up after their sentence

Today, journalist Kieran Pender on the question of who gets to walk free at the end of their sentence.

News September 17, 2022

The High Court’s disturbing ruling on preventive detention

The High Court has upheld a state law that undermines a core guarantee of liberty and will disproportionately punish Indigenous offenders.

podcast August 29, 2022

Your order for employment rights has been cancelled: Deliveroo v Franco

Today, journalist and lawyer Kieran Pender on the story of Diego Franco and how it put the Fair Work Commission at loggerheads with the most powerful court in Australia.

News August 27, 2022

The Deliveroo case that could change Australia’s gig economy

A two-year legal battle between a food delivery driver and the delivery company failed to find in favour of the worker, but may still be the catalyst for major industrial relations reform.

Comment August 13, 2022

Australia’s frayed anti-discrimination laws

“In early May, the High Court delivered a judgement that further undermines the fragile patchwork quilt of anti-discrimination law in Australia. You might have missed it – Citta Hobart v Cawthorn received little attention with all eyes on …”

News July 16, 2022

Labor set to shake up the High Court

With two new appointments to the High Court pending, a controversial case over the constitutional status of Indigenous Australians, and a federal judicial conduct commission in the wings, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has a packed legal agenda.

podcast July 12, 2022

On trial for telling the truth

Today, lawyer and contributor to The Saturday Paper Kieran Pender on the people still facing prison for telling the truth.

Comment July 09, 2022

On trial for telling the truth

“Four years. Four million taxpayer dollars. More than a dozen judgements. Days and days in court – often in closed court, with the media and public barred from attending. On Thursday, it was finally over. The prosecution of Bernard Collaery came …”

Sport May 07, 2022

A gender-equal wave in the World Surf League

Since taking the reins as head of competition for the World Surf League, Sydney-born Jessi Miley-Dyer is barrelling ahead with plans to make the sport more gender equal.

podcast May 04, 2022

A Russian oligarch and a British publisher walk into an Australian court

Lawyers and bankers in London have been warned by the British prime minister not to defend the wealth and reputations of Russian oligarchs who have ties to Vladimir Putin’s government. And one of those oligarchs actually has a connection to Australia as well.

News April 23, 2022

Roman Abramovich’s day in Australian court

A defamation claim by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich in the Federal Court has prompted questions over whether public interest journalism is sufficiently protected by Australian law.

podcast April 19, 2022

Love and politics put the High Court in a tricky position

Two years ago, the High Court made a landmark decision that prevented the deportation of non-citizen Aboriginal Australians. Now, the federal government is seeking to overturn that decision.

News April 09, 2022

Immigration case raises concerns over High Court politicisation

A High Court decision on citizenship, seen as being as important as Mabo, is being recontested in what some experts say is an attempt at an American-style politicisation of the judiciary.

podcast March 02, 2022

The bill that could end class actions

Journalist and lawyer Kieran Pender on the new government legislation that could spell the end of class actions in Australia, and what that would mean for access to justice.

News February 26, 2022

Access to justice threatened by new rules for class actions

A federal push to change the rules around class action lawsuits will make it more difficult for people to get justice from the courts.

podcast February 16, 2022

The High Court case that could change your job

Companies like Uber and Airtasker have transformed the so-called ‘gig economy’ by hiring thousands of workers as independent contractors, rather than employees. Today, journalist Kieran Pender on the landmark high court decision, and the future of work in Australia.

News February 12, 2022

Minister’s citizenship powers go to High Court

A case before the High Court will determine whether a minister can unilaterally strip a person’s citizenship. The principle in question affects as many as one in three Australians.

podcast December 06, 2021

A spy scandal and a secret trial

Kieran Pender on the trial of Bernard Collaery, and why the government is trying so hard to keep it as secret as possible.

Comment December 04, 2021

Inside Bernard Collaery’s trial

“Secret evidence, secret hearings and secret judgements. Each step in the prosecution of Bernard Collaery comes with another layer of opacity. If it were not so serious, the accumulation of secrecy in this case would be comedic. Secrecy heaped upon secrecy …”

News October 16, 2021

The climate case that has the Morrison government scrambling

The leaking by the Morrison government of court submissions shows its antagonistic attitude towards the judiciary, particularly in cases related to climate change.

Sport August 14, 2021

Covering the Tokyo Olympics

After a major wobble on the blocks, the Tokyo Olympics finally began, offering cheer and distraction to a Covid-ravaged world and the experience of a lifetime to those in the inner sanctum.

Sport July 10, 2021

Winter Olympics discontent

With the Beijing Winter Olympics just seven months away, calls for a diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights record are heating up.

podcast July 05, 2021

The judgement that changed climate law in Australia

In a recent landmark judgement, the federal court has found that the government owes children a duty of care in preventing harm from the impacts of climate change. The case, which centred around the proposed expansion of a NSW coal mine, could have far reaching legal implications in Australia.

Sport July 03, 2021

Tour riders wheels up for Tokyo Olympics

As if the narrow time frame between the Tour de France and the Tokyo Olympics men’s road race isn’t challenging enough, Covid-19 puts another spoke in the wheel.

podcast June 29, 2021

Cancel culture hits the High Court

Physicist Peter Ridd was fired after he publicly criticised his colleague’s research on the Great Barrier Reef, but what started as an employment dispute has become a test case on climate denial and cancel culture.

News June 26, 2021

Peter Ridd’s High Court case

An employment dispute has become a test case on climate denial, cancel culture and academic freedom.

podcast June 23, 2021

The world’s first pandemic games

Tens of thousands of athletes and officials are about to descend on Tokyo as the city prepares to host the 32nd Olympic games. But with Covid-19 cases surging in Japan, health experts and the majority of the Japanese public are opposed to the event being held at all. Today, Kieran Pender on the vested interests behind this pandemic Olympics.

Sport March 06, 2021

Australian Sports Commission chair Josephine Sukkar

She may not have played much sport as a kid, but Josephine Sukkar has always been a keen sideline supporter. Now the Sydney businesswoman has jumped in the ring as the first female chair of the Australian Sports Commission.

Culture November 14, 2020


In the decade to 2018, 52,396 sexual assaults were reported to the New South Wales Police Force. Charges were laid in 12,894 cases, and 7629 cases proceeded to court. Just 7 per cent of initial reports – 3827 cases – ultimately saw a guilty verdict. …

Sport September 12, 2020

The trials of Equestrian Australia

A tumultuous dispute at Equestrian Australia has seen the government revoke its funding and the Australian Olympic Committee withdraw recognition. With a postponed Tokyo Games looming in July 2021, where to now for the sport’s peak body?

News August 01, 2020

Suing for climate action

In the face of the government’s inaction on the climate emergency, activists are turning to ‘world first’ lawsuits in an attempt to bring about change.

Sport March 21, 2020

Organised sport out for the count

As coronavirus sweeps the planet, sport has become one of its many casualties. Olympic athletes have been left in limbo, with the Tokyo Games yet to be cancelled.

Sport February 22, 2020

Inside the AIS

The Australian Institute of Sport has long produced our Olympic hopefuls. Is the model still fit for purpose, or is an overhaul overdue?

news December 21, 2019

Examining the second draft of religion bill

Five years after George Brandis declared ‘people have the right to be bigots’, the government wants that proposition enshrined in law.

Sport December 14, 2019

Track cycling world champion Stephanie Morton

Following Anna Meares’ retirement, Stephanie Morton has emerged as Australia’s new track sprinting star. This weekend the reigning world champion races in Brisbane, but her sights are firmly set on Tokyo 2020.

Sport September 21, 2019

Amanda Spratt’s cycling hopes

Australian cyclist Amanda Spratt had her best season yet in 2018 – but fell just short of the world title. Can she go one better this year?

Sport August 31, 2019

Boomers set to take on the world

Fresh from a historic win over the United States, Australia’s basketballers head to the FIBA World Cup in China with their sights set on a medal.

Sport July 27, 2019

Two-time Tour de France stage-winner Caleb Ewan

Once heralded as ‘cycling’s next big thing’, Caleb Ewan was controversially left off his team’s 2018 Tour de France roster. Given a start this year with Lotto Soudal, the Australian sprinter has now rewarded the Belgian outfit with two stage wins.

Sport July 06, 2019

Lydia Williams, the conqueror

An early exit from the FIFA Women’s World Cup left the Matildas bitterly disappointed. But for Indigenous goalkeeper Lydia Williams it just offers another opportunity to overcome adversity.

Sport June 22, 2019

Matildas live their ‘never say die’ motto

After a tumultuous few months marred by speculation and scrutiny, the Matildas’ fightback against Brazil showed a team determined to prove its critics wrong.

Sport May 11, 2019

Australian cycling team’s world stage

How Mitchelton-Scott, Australia’s only World Tour cycling team, is scaling the heights of road racing.

News March 23, 2019

The public service code of conduct

A Canberra public servant’s anonymous posts on social media led to her sacking and now to the High Court in a free speech case with far-reaching consequences for the federal government.