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Injustice Anywhere: Human Rights in Practice


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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Martin Luther King’s sentiment still underpins many of the key legal documents set up to promote human rights in Victoria and beyond. But 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? Can we do better? Join our panellists in a discussion of human rights in theory and practice.

This event is the official launch of Law Week – and of Victoria Law Foundation’s Better Information Handbook – so stick around afterwards for free drinks and further discussion.


Debbie Mortimer

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

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 be... Read more

Alan Attwood

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. Alan was born in Scotland and immigrated to Australia with his family when he was four. He has worked as an... Read more

Rob Stary

Rob Stary is a Melbourne criminal defence lawyer who runs his own firm in Footscray. Rob describes the acquittal of Jack Thomas in 2008 as the most significant case he’s been involved in. Thomas, the first person charged under Australia’s anti-terrorism laws, was set free after a six-year battle... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.