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Barrister Julian Burnside practises in commercial litigation, trade practices and administrative law – but he also takes pro-bono human rights cases and works as an advocate for refugees. He’s a dedicated supporter and patron of the arts, a noted and published lexophile and he writes books. Perhaps the biggest injustice is how he snagged those extra hours in each day. In all seriousness, Burnside’s commitment to justice runs long – with a pronounced commitment to asylum seeker and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.
Kat Armstrong is the acting CEO of the Women's Justice Network, an organisation that gives direct support, through mentoring and advocacy, to women affected by the criminal justice system. She is also an ex-prisoner, having served 10 years in jail. She co-founded the Women in Prison Advocacy Network (WIPAN), which has since become the Women’s Justice Network.
Joining Burnside and Armstrong for a conversation about justice – what it means to them, and what it should mean to all of us – is host (and barrister) Andrew Boe.
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).
Kat Armstrong is the acting CEO of the Women's Justice Network and is an ex-prisoner, having served 10 years in prison. Kat commenced a law degree whilst serving a custodial sentence, and has since completed it 14 years later. When released from prison, Kat remained in Sydney – knowing nobody, homeless, and with just $213 to her name.
Andrew Boe is a barrister with chambers in Sydney and Brisbane. He was involved in cases which attracted some public attention including R v Ivan Milat (serial killer); R v Pauline Hanson and David Ettridge (alleged political corruption); R v Robyn Kina (Indigenous bicultural competence/domestic violence murder); R v Lorna Mackenzie (pre-emptive self-defence murder by a victim of sustained domestic violence) as well as cases concerning the Palm Island death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee, as captured in Chole Hooper’s The Tall Man.
Each month, join us at Sydney's Belvoir St Theatre for a focused exploration of one idea – beginning with a performance or reading inspired by the topic.
Presented by the Wheeler Centre, Sydney Writers’ Festival and Belvoir.