Celebrating 20 years of the Castan Centre

Castan Centre 20th Anniversary Video

To view the Castan Centre 20th Anniversary video click 'play' on the video below:

Director's Message - Human Rights in the Time of COVID-19

To view the message of our Director, Professor the Hon. Kevin H Bell AM QC click 'play' on the video below:

Dean's Message

To view the message of our Dean, Professor Bryan Horrigan, click 'play' on the video below:

When I think of the Castan Centre

What do people think of when they think of the Castan Centre? Click 'play' on the video below to find out:

What do people say about the Castan Centre?

Reflections of Human Rights Experts on the Castan Centre

Professor Andrew Clapham, Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies: 

Hearty Congratulations to the Castan Centre on your 20th birthday. I treasure the opportunities you gave me to discuss the problem of ‘foreign fighters’ in Australia with a wide range of people in Australia during my time with you. The Holding Redlich Fellowship experience led to multiple encounters over Guantanamo, the human rights responsibilities of businesses and great debates with students. Sarah Joseph and Jo Kyriakakis infused the Centre with their energy and commitment. I wish you many more years of engagement with the pressing human rights issues of the day.

Professor Dr Elies van Sliedregt, Chair in International & Comparative Criminal Justice, University of Leeds Faculty of Law:

The Castan Centre is the most reputable human rights centre in Australia and one of the leading human rights centres in the world. Four things make the Castan Centre unique. First, its ability to generate high quality academic work whilst engaging with society, legislatures and policymakers.  Secondly, the Centre’s vast area of expertise and scope. The area of work stretches from business and human rights to refugee law to LGTBI rights to the law of armed conflict. Thirdly, the Centre and its people are at the cutting edge of debates, engaging with media in traditional news outlets and via social media. Fourthly, and most importantly: key to the Centre’s achievements are its people. What struck me in the past when dealing with the Centre, is its ambitious agenda yet friendly atmosphere. These four features make the Centre unique in my view. They explain the consistent success of the Centre for two decades.

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC KMG, Former Judge of the High Court of Australia, Patron of the Castan Centre

From my own work in United Nations human rights activities, including for the Human Rights Council on human rights violations in North Korea, I can affirm high international standing of the Castan Centre. Ron Castan would be proud of the very evolution and growth of the institution that proudly bears his name.

Jose Ramos Horta, Former President of East Timor

The Castan Centre is unique in that it blends the intellectual rigour of human rights law and brings human rights to life in practical ways.

Professor Christof Heyns, University of Pretoria, member of the UN Human Rights Committee (2017-)

I am a great admirer of the work of the Centre. It is clear that they deserve the reputation as one of the leading university human rights law centres in the world today.

Professor Gillian Triggs, President of Australian Human Rights Commission (2012-2017)

The Castan Centre is the leading university program for human rights law in Australia. The Centre also has an excellent global reputation in human rights law and its staff are often asked to contribute to regional and international human rights forums.


Reflections of Castan Centre Students

I am very thankful for the opportunity to be able to work collaboratively with like-minded and passionate individuals on a human rights project. The Castan Centre also organised numerous guest seminars and workshops, giving us useful insights into human rights issues around the world, as well as possible career options after the placement. - Vayne Lim, 2020 Clinic Student

Interning at the Castan Centre really opened my eyes to the different pathways my degree could take me. I gained valuable experience in policy and research, and was able to assist in meaningful social justice projects. The team at the Castan Centre were friendly and supportive, and inspired me to continue along a law reform career path.Sarah Hult, 2020 In-house intern

Reflections on the Indigenous Group of Learning Program

This time for NAIDOC week, we collaborated on the beautiful mural which I cherish in my recollections - Congratulations - what a great achievement. - Ms. Romani Benjamin, Volunteer

The Castan Centre’s Indigenous Group of Learning was the most meaningful experience I have had in my career to date. I learned so much from the men in prison about their resilience, cultural strength and histories. My time at Port Phillip Prison has made me incredibly passionate about ensuring prisons are safe, humane spaces where people are empowered and treated with care, especially First Nations peoples. - Ms. Thea Casey, Volunteer

Each time I enter Port Phillip Prison, I look forward to spending quality time with the Aboriginal inmates who participate in the IGL program, and I feel a great sense of respect and gratitude from all. The program has given me an opportunity to understand the justice and prison system in which I have been able to provide a culturally safe environment to encourage and support Aboriginal men in culturally appropriate manner.   Happy 20th Anniversary Castan Centre!Michelle Donovan, IGL Program Coordinator