Injustice Anywhere: Human Rights in Practice
Are the bold aims of human rights discourse too idealistic for the legal system to sustain in practice? How difficult is it to develop and enforce laws that promote a rights-based culture? What happens when rights clash? And what is the imperative for a bill of rights? Our panellists — Alan Attwood, Debbie Mortimer, Julian Burnside and Rob Stary — discuss the theory and practice of human rights.
Debbie Mortimer SC is a Melbourne barrister whose areas of practice include matters relating to civil liberties, constitutional law, discrimination law, equal opportunity, human rights, and freedom of information.
Julian Burnside is a Melbourne barrister. He joined the Bar in 1976 and took silk in 1989. He specialises in commercial litigation, and has acted in many very contentious cases - the MUA Waterfront dispute; the Cash-for-Comment enquiry; cases for Alan Bond and Rose Porteous - but has become known for his human rights work and has acted pro bono in many refugee cases. He is an outspoken opponent of the mistreatment of people who come to Australia seeking protection from persecution. His latest book is Watching Out: Reflections on Justice and Injustice (Scribe, 2017).
Alan Attwood, author and journalist, is a Walkley-award winner and former New York correspondent for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. He has been editor of The Big Issue magazine since 2006.
Rob Stary is a Melbourne criminal defence lawyer who runs his own firm in Footscray.