Fighting the Death Penalty: Making a difference in the long term

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Event Details

3 August 2018 at 12:00 am


A conversation between Julian McMahon SC and Richard Bourke, Director, Louisiana Capital Assistance Centre

Join us for a rare chance to see one of America’s leading experts being put on the stand to discuss his challenging work.  Having worked at LCAC since 2002, Richard Bourke has been on the front line of anti-death penalty case work in the southern states of the USA. Richard will be asked to shed light on the key difficulties his clients face, and on differences between death penalty cases in the USA and Asia. He will reflect on the strategies and debates being played out in his work and nationally, to bring about abolition.

Event details
Date: Thursday 9 August
Venue: Monash Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Time: 5.30pm for 6pm - 7pm (followed by refreshments) 
Cost: Free to attend
RSVP: Friday 3 August HERE


Richard Bourke

Richard Bourke is the director of the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center (LCAC).

He graduated from the Melbourne University School of Law where he also gained a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and Criminology.

Richard pursued a successful career as a criminal lawyer in Australia but after visiting New Orleans in 1998 to volunteer at the LCAC, he returned to work there full-time in 2002. Richard is certified as capital counsel in Louisiana and represents trial level defendants in Louisiana and federal court where the prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

Richard also represents defendants in state and federal capital post-conviction proceedings in Texas and Mississippi. In 2007 Richard was awarded the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Award by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

He has argued cases in the trial courts but also in the Louisiana Supreme Court, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Julian McMahon AC SC

Julian McMahon did his LLM in the mid-1990s at Monash while working full time as a junior lawyer.

Since becoming a barrister in 1998, his work has been in criminal law. Following the arrest of young Australian Van Nguyen in Singapore in 2002, he has been involved in death penalty cases.

Over time this work has broadened to a more general advocacy role on the issue. He is currently President of Reprieve Australia, a single issue organisation committed to ending the death penalty.

In the last few years, Julian has travelled widely and worked with lawyers and others across the region, and spoken often in Australia and internationally on the death penalty, the rule of law, and related matters.

In 2016 Julian was the Victorian Australian of the Year. He was recently awarded the Law Council of Australia President’s Medal for 2016.

He is President of Reprieve Australia and on the board of Jesuit Social Services.