Castan Centre public events and lectures

Increasing awareness of human rights strengthens and invigorates efforts for change. One of our most important programs is our annual series of public lectures, workshops and roundtables featuring experts from Australia and overseas. Papers, audio and video recordings of our public lectures are posted below.

2019

Apartheid guns and money: A tale of global profit
Public lecture with Hennie van Vuuren director of Open Secrets
21 May 2019

Social Norms, Soft Law, Hard Law: The Evolution of Business and Human Rights
Public lecture with John Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
30 April 2019

The UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities: the presumption of capacity and other implementation dilemmas
Round table event with Professor Gerard Quinn of National University of Ireland, co-hosted with Liberty Victoria and  Deakin University
4 March 2019

2018

Building the Campaign for an Australian Charter of Human Rights
Panel event co-hosted with Human Rights Law Centre
10 December 2018

2018 Castan Centre Annual Lecture - The journal towards treaty
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law / King & Wood Mallesons Annual Lecture, Jill Gallagher AO, Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner
4 October 2018

Keep kids out: Preventing detention of refugee and migrant children in Australia
Panel event co-hosted with End Child Detention Coalition Australia.
4 September 2018

Fundraising film event: RBG
Join us for this special screening that is an unashamed valentine to the legendary Ruth Badger Ginsburg, a justice of the US Supreme Court. With unprecedented access, the all female filmmakers explore how her early legal battles whilst working for the ACLU changed the course of history for women in America. 
11 August 2018

Disability in Victorian Schools - Special Launch of a Landmark new report
You are invited to the launch of Improving Educational Outcomes for Children with Disability in Victoria, a new report by the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University. The report was funded with a grant from the Victorian Legal Services Board.
29 June 2018

Kenneth Roth - Addressing The Populist Challenge to Human Rights
Join Human Rights Watch’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, as he discusses standing up for human rights in the age of populist leaders. He will consider human rights under the Trump presidency, the ongoing violations of the laws of war in Syria and Yemen, and the global challenge of refugees and mass displacement, as well as Human Rights Watch’s work in Australia.

Christie Weeramantry Tribute
In this special event to honour the life of Emeritus Professor Christie Weeramantry AM, Professor Tony Anghie will delve into the themes of Christie’s jurisprudence and his larger vision of the world as they developed from his time as a lawyer and Judge in Sri Lanka, through his years at Monash University to his work on the International Court of Justice.

2017

Preventing abuse in detention with stronger monitoring
This panel of internationally renowned experts will look at the challenges facing Australia in the coming years. The event is a must for anyone working in or with any sector that may detain people.

2017 Castan Centre Annual Lecture - The UN Human Rights Council
Australia is likely to be elected soon to the UN Human Rights Council. What can Australia play on the Council and what problems will it confront?

David Coltart: The Struggle Continues - 50 Years of Struggle in Zimbabwe
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and the Australian Academy of Law invite you to join David Coltart in his Melbourne book launch of: The struggle continues 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe.

Human Rights Translated 2.0
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and the UN Global Compact Network Australia invite you to the launch of Human Rights Translated 2.0: A Business Reference Guide.
20 June 2017

American Indian Tribal Nations and the Transition from Obama to Trump
This event will explore the changing landscape of American Indian rights in the US from wins such as the Obama order to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, to federal American Indian policy under Trump. 
8 June 2017

Playing God: The Immigration Minister's Unrestrained Power
This event will explore the increase in the discretionary powers of the Immigration Minister, and the effect of such powers on the rights and freedoms of vulnerable peoples.
4 May 2017

7th Annual Human Rights Tertiary Teachers Workshop 2017
This workshop will bring together those engaged in teaching human rights in tertiary institutions around the country and from further afield, to share ideas about how teachers teach, and how students learn, in the area of human rights
14 February 2017

2016

Fundraising film event: Prison Songs
Prison Songs is a groundbreaking documentary that gives voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are impacted by the criminal justice system
24 November 2016

Literacy and Human Rights
This presentation seeks to establish the link between literacy and the ability of individuals and groups to protect their human and civil rights
12 October 2016

Peering through human rights-tinted glasses
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law / King & Wood Mallesons Annual Lecture, Edward Santow, Human Rights Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
7 October 2016

Public interest law careers guide launch
The Progressive Law Careers Guide is an online resource, and this free launch will be interactive, with the chance for you to hear from a panel of young professionals working in areas such as human rights and government.
5 October 2016

Philippines' 'War on drugs'
Join Human Rights Watch Philippines Researcher, Carlos Conde, as he discusses the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines, and why the Philippines government should publicly denounce unlawful killings and reiterate support for the rule of law. This event is being co-hosted with Human Rights Watch
16 September 2016

Can human rights and mandated medical treatment co-exist?
This public event will examine the complicated issue of how, if at all, human rights considerations such as freedom, respect, equality and dignity could be upheld in situations where the law mandates intrusive and coercive medical treatment.
31 August 2016

The refugee, the person behind the mask: Human rights and security in the battering waves
Solon Solomon, King's College London Dickson Poon School of Law
5 July 2016

Fundraising film event: Chasing Asylum
Chasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies and explores how 'The Lucky Country' became one where leaders choose detention over compassion and governments deprive the desperate of their basic human rights.
1 June 2016

An evening with Edward Snowden
Think Inc., in conjunction with the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law presents Edward Snowden
22 May 2016

US Migrant Interdiction and the Detention of Refugees in Guantanāmo Bay
Dr Azadeh Dastyari book launch
17 May 2016

Intimidation and repression in Uganda
Co-hosted with Human Rights Watch, Maria Burnett of Human Rights Watch and Nicholas Opiyo of Chapter Four Uganda
19 April 2016

Science: how do we ensure it helps us without harming us?
Holding Redlich Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Professor Therese Murphy, Queen's University Belfast
9 March 2016

Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea: Perspectives in International Law
This one-day public seminar will examine the ongoing dispute over maritime boundaries between Australia and Timor-Leste. Panelists will include invited experts in international law, and representatives of the governments of Australia and Timor-Leste
15 February 2016

2015

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law / King & Wood Mallesons Annual Lecture. Professor Christof Heyns
9 October 2015
Elies van Sliedregt is Professor of Criminal Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Director of the Centre for International Criminal Justice and Dean of the Faculty of Law
3 September 2015
Towards a New Treaty on Business and Human Rights
Professor Olivier De Schutter was the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food from 2008-2014. He is now a member of the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, which monitors and supervises the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights 1966
23 June 2015

An evening with Dr Cornel West

Think Inc., in conjunction with the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law presents Dr Cornel West.
12 June 2015


Proof of Birth Book Launch

Melissa Canstan and Paula Gerber book launch.
28 May 2015

On the Front Line of Humanitarian Crises: Libya, Central Africa Republic and Syria
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and Human Rights Watch presents Father Bernard Kinvi and Peter Bouckaert.
27 April 2015

Racialised Policing: from Ferguson to Flemington
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and Flemington and Kensington Legal Centre presents the public forum.
25 March 2015

Rights in a Crowded Classroom
This panel event was co-hosted with the Australian Human Rights Commission
11 March 2015

"Addressing the Phenomenon of "Foreign fighters"
Andrew Clapham is Professor of Public International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.
5 February 2015


2014

Symposium on Australia Achieving Universal Birth Registration
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Plan International Australia and UNICEF Australia are delighted to invite you to this important symposium on Achieving Universal Birth Registration in Australia.

"Let people be who they are: LGBTI rights are human rights"
Professor Michael O'Flaherty has been the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway since February 2013. Previously, he was Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission until November 2013.
20 November 2014

Prison Overcrowding and Human rights
The use of imprisonment always poses challenges for the protection of prisoners' human rights in prison. Come along to this event to hear the speakers talk about the current levels of overcrowding heighten those challenges and introduce new risks to prisoners.
6 November 2014

2014 Castan Centre Biannual Gala Dinner
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law invites you to its biennial human rights gala. This dinner is a vital fundraiser for the Centre's many policy, public education and research programs. We hope that you will join us for a celebratory evening on Albert Park Lake with Australia's growing human rights community.
23 October 2014

Arthur, Martha and everyone else: equality now for intersex, trans and gender diverse people
Many hurdles remain for Australia's intersex, trans and gender diverse communities. Come along to this important event to hear about how some of these obstacles are being overcome, as well as the biggest ones that remain in the ongoing battle for true equality.
7 October 2014

'Nothing About Us Without Us': National Responses to the CRPD Six Years On
The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law / King & Wood Mallesons Annual Lecture Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Monash Law Faculty
Professor Emeritus Ron McCallum AO.
22 August 2014

Your Fatwa does not apply here: Untold stories from the fight against Muslim fundamentalism
Karima Bennoune is professor at the University of California, she has served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and is a former Amnesty International Legal Adviser. Currently, she sits on the Board of the Network of Women Living Under Muslim Law.
28 May 2014

Afghanistan at a crossroads
As Afghanistan stands at a crossroads, what role should Australia play in promoting and protecting women's rights?
16 May 2014

Hate speech laws: What they should and shouldn't try to do
Professor Gavin Phillipson has held a Chair in Law at the University of Durham since January 2007 and is a qualified solicitor
23 April 2014

Being social: The human right against social deprivation
Kimberley Brownlee an Associate Professor of Legal and Moral Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Prior to this, she was a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester.
16 April 2014

A Special Castan Centre Event: Freedom Forum
This forum will look at what freedom means in Australia, how it can be better protected and whether existing laws really do limit our freedoms
9 April 2014

Surveillan​ce and the Right to Privacy in a Digital Age
Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, one of the world's leading international human rights organizations, which operates in more than 90 countries.
2 April 2014

Enforced Disappearances in Asia: the case of Sombath Somphone
Shui Meng Ng, the wife of Sombath Somphone, will talk about Sombath Somphone, the man and his work, what could have caused his disappearance, and the impact this incident has on Lao society, and especially on Lao civil society development.
6 March 2014


2013

Human Rights and Business: Why human rights matter to successful businesses
Annual lecture by Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission
22 November 2013

Marriage equality in Australia. Where to from here?
The Hon. Adam Bandt MP, Federal Member for Melbourne and Rodney Croome, National Director of Australian Marriage Equality
24 October 2013

The Rights of Athletes
Brendan Schwab is the Director of International Player Relations
23 September 2013

Do we need a human rights body for the Asia-Pacific? Lessons from around the globeProfessor Dinah Shelton, Commissioner of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, George Washington University Law School
A Holding Redlich Distinguished Visiting Fellow
12 September 2013

Public Interest Law Careers Guide launch
The Public Interest Law Careers guide is an online resource funded by the Victoria Law Foundation,  the guide presents dozens of Victorian organisations for you to consider, plus testimonials from people who've made a career in public interest law work. Speakers at the launch included Jill Prior, of Victoria Aboriginal Legal Service, Felicity Milner of Environment Defenders Office and Clare Bradin a legal and policy officer at the Supreme Court of Victoria
20 August 2013

The International Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Australian Leadership​, Australian ResearchMr Noel Campbell is Assistant Secretary, International Organisations Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Dr Sharon Pickering is a Professor of Criminology and Australian Research Council Future Fellow on Border Policing at Monash University in Melbourne Australia. Dr Ronli Sifris is a lecturer at Monash University's Faculty of Law and an Associate of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law. Dr Lesley Pruitt is a McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne
15 August 2013

Prisoners and Human Rights - the potential and the reality
Dr Kim Pate is the Executive Director of Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies and a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. Debbie Kilroy, is the CEO of Sisters Inside which is an independent community organization which advocates for the human rights of criminalized women. Dr Bronwyn Naylor is an Associate Professor in the Law Faculty at Monash University
8 August 2013

ASIO's Catch 22: Asylum in limbo
Matthew Albert is a Melbourne barrister who has represented a number of refugees and asylum seekers in the federal courts. Jane Dixon SC is the President of Liberty Victoria, one of Australia's leading civil liberties organisations. Dr Patrick Emerton is a Senior Lecturer in the Monash Faculty of Law and an Associate of the Castan Centre
17 June 2013

Sudan - 10 years after
Professor Alex Bellamy of Griffith University explores if the Australian government has a role in this crisis and if it can use its seat in the UN Security Council to keep Darfur high on the agenda and to pressure the Sudanese Government into stopping its human rights abuses against the people of Darfur, Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile
30 May 2013

Forced Labour and Human Trafficking: the Criminalisation of Labour Exploitation
Jennifer Burn is director of Anti-Slavery Australia, an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney, lawyer and migration agent. Susan Kneebone is a leading internationally renowned scholar on human trafficking, forced migration and refugee law. Professor Kneebone has taken a leading role in introducing research on refugee law and human trafficking issues into her faculty
17 May 2013

Children's Ground: A model that could end inter-generational poverty in Australia
Rosemary Addis is a Social Innovation Strategist for the Ausralian Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations. Jane Vadiveloo is the Children's Ground founding CEO, which was established to model a new approach to working with communities experiencing the greatest disadvantage in Australia and globally.
19 March 2013

Rainbows in the Court Room. How the Law Can Protect Our Environment
David Ritter is the CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Australia and formerly one of Australia's leading native title lawyers.
12 March 2013

Seeking security: Refugee policy in a time of complexity and change
Associate Professor Harry Minas is the Director for the Centre for International Mental Health of the Melbourne School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne, and Alex Pagliaro is the refugee campaigner for Amnesty International Australia
13 February 2013

2012

Where Liberty Lies: Civil Society and Individual Rights in America's "War on Terror" after 9/11Professor David Cole, Georgetown Law is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, a volunteer attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation, and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books
18 December 2012

'The People Smuggler': Ali Al Jenabi - 'Villain or Hero'
Robin de Crespigny has spent three years working with Ali Al Jenabi to write his story. She is a film maker and lives in Sydney. 'The People Smuggler' is her first book
22 November 2012

2012 Castan Centre Dinner
This dinner is a vital fundraiser for the Centre's many policy, public education and research programs. The keynote speaker was Dan Mori, LtCol, US Marine Corps (Ret.) from Shine Lawyers, Melbourne.
25 October 2012

Symposium on Australia's Implementation of The Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
This symposium drew together experts to consider different dimensions of the United Nations Declaration, and its impact within the Australian legal and political landscape
21 September 2012

Paris Aristotle AM, member of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, on the Panel's report and its implications
Paris Aristotle discussed the report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers in conversation with Michael Gordon, the National Affairs Editor of The Age
5 September 2012

Executive Supremacy? Are governments now more powerful than parliaments?Governments must be accountable if citizens are to properly participate in democracy.  Speakers of this forum discussed the increasing tendency of governments to act as though they are more powerful than the parliaments from which they are drawn in order to avoid publicly disclosing information
9 August 2012

The Success and Challenges of Transitional Justice in Sierra LeoneEmmanuel Saffa Abdulai presented on the political, sociological as well as legal successes and challenges of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, he also discussed the ramifications of setting up those two mechanisms simultaneously and the financial implication of setting up the court
1 August 2012

The role of the right to food in combating global hungerProfessor Olivier De Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food
19 June 2012

The Legacy of the Mabo Case: Indigenous land justice in Australia
Professor Marcia Langton presented on the economic outcomes of Mabo, and Bryan Keon-Kohen presented on the legal ramifications of the case.
12 June 2012

The Impact of Mental Impairment Legislation for People with Cognitive Impairment: The Aboriginal Disability Justice CampaignThis forum explored the human rights and legal issues for people with a psychiatric disability and cognitive impairment (intellectual disability / acquired brain injury) who come before the courts and are assessed as having a mental impairment and then found unfit to plead.
30 May 2012

Human rights, protest and police surveillance: a forum on intelligence gathering and monitoring of public protestThis forum brings together experts in law, human rights and surveillance powers to collect and retain footage of peple at protests in relations to a 2010 climate change protest at Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley
17 May 2012

Global Poverty Project - 1.4 Billion Reasons. This special presentation by the Global Poverty Project will explore the issue of extreme poverty, and the barriers we face in bringing about its end. It is recommended for anyone interested in learning more about ending extreme poverty in our lifetime.
1 May 2012

Symposium - Recent developments concerning the Convention on the Rights of the ChildThis informative and thought-provoking event will bring together some of Australia's leading child rights advocates, academics and organisations.  It will be an invaluable occasion for those working or studying in the area, as well as anyone with an interest in children's rights.
24 April 2012

Nonviolent resistance in the Middle EastDr Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of San Francisco
19 March 2012

The Relevance of the Convention Against Torture in Preventing and Redressing Violence Against WomenClaudio Grossman, Chair, United Nations Committee Against Torture and Fiona McCormack, CEO, Domestic Violence Victoria
22 February 2012

Aid and Accountability: Safeguarding Rights in High-Risk Development Projects
Bridges Across Borders Cambodia (BABC) will present the findings of its forthcoming report, DERAILED, A Study on the Resettlement Impacts of the Rehabilitation of the Cambodian Railway
13 February 2012

2011

Are States meeting their responsibilities to trafficked persons?
Annual Lecture by Ms Joy Ezeilo, United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children
28 November 2011

Momcilovic v R: The High Court's Views on the Constitutionality and Operation of the Victorian CharterPanelists James Stellios of ANU College of Law and Dr Julie Debeljak of the Castan Centre
10 October 2011

The High Court and Refugee Policy: Implications and International ComparisonsPanelists Dr Susan Kneebone, Maria O'Sullivan and Professor James Walter
14 September 2011

Religion and Society in Indonesia after the Cikeusik MurdersPanelists Professor Dr Dadang Kahmad, Professor Dr Asep Saepul Muhtadi and Mr Hendar Riyadi
29 August 2011

The Victorian Charter of Fundamental Rights: a case of inappropriate transplants?
Dr Angela Ward of the Bar Council, Law Library of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
18 August 2011

Victor's Justice: Selecting the Targets of International TribunalsProfessor William A. Schabas, Director Irish Centre for Human Rights and Chair in Human Rights Law, National University of Ireland, Galway
A Holding Redlich Distinguished Visiting Fellow
1 June 2011

Western Sahara: Living Dangerously Under Moroccan Occupation
Aicha Dahane is an International Officer of the Forum for the Future for Saharawi Women (Western Sahara). Dr Benjamin MacQueen is the Deputy Director of the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University
10 May 2011

Perspectives on the International Intervention in LibyaPanelists Professor Donald R Rothwell, Associate Professor Gideon Boas and Jeff Sparrow.
20 April 2011

Will the Revolution be Tweeted?  The Role of Social Media in Promoting and Protecting Human RightsPanelists Sarah Joseph, Sam McLean, Jonathan Green and Alex Pagliaro discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of social media to promote and protect human rights
5 April 2011

Business and Human Rights at Home and Abroad: an Update on the Work of the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Business and Human RightsVanessa Zimmerman, Legal Advisor to Professor John Ruggie the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Business and Human Rights
1 April 2011

International Humanitarian Law and the Young LawyerCareer forum with students who undertook internships at international criminal tribunals
16 March 2011

Preying on the Poor: "Vulture Funds", Foreign Debt and Human Rights in Developing CountriesDr Cephas Lumina is the UN Independent Expert on the Effects of Foreign Debt and other Related Financial Obligations on Human Rights
10 February 2011


2010

Money and Politics: Why it Matters to Human RightsDr Joo-Cheong Tham is a Senior Lecturer at the Melbourne Law School. Sam Mclean is the Communications and Campaigns Director at GetUp.org.au
4 November 2010

Victorian State Election Human Rights ForumHuman rights forum with Shadow Victorian Attorney-General and Liberal Member for the State seat of Box Hill Robert Clark MP and Greens candidate for the State seat of Melbourne Brian Walters SC. Moderated by Damien Carrick presenter of The Law Report on ABC Radio National
9 September 2010

A matter of leadership: the AFL on the field and in the communityAnnual Lecture by Andrew Demetriou the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Football League
17 August 2010

The rise and rise of targeted assassinations, and the implications for international law
Professor Philip Alston is UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Millennium Development Goals
19 May 2010

Geeks versus gag orders: has censorship been privatised?
Julian Assange is an activist, journalist, and the editor of WikiLeaks.com13 May 2010

R v Momcilovic: Human Rights Victory or Individual Injustice?Michael Croucher, a member of the Victorian Bar and represented Vera Momcilovic
28 April 2010

How gender can affect progress towards the UN's Millennium Development GoalsNana Oye Lithur, Chief Executive Director, Human Rights Advocacy Centre, Gana
14 April

Human Rights in South Africa TodayGeorge Bizos SC, one of South Africa's leading human rights lawyers
5 March 2010

Iran: Between the Sovereignty of God and Sovereignty of PeopleProfessor Amin Saikal, Director, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, Australian National University
17 February 2010

Out to Sea: Refugee Policy Under the Rudd GovernmentJessie Taylor, Melbourne lawyer and refugee advocate
11 February 2010

Previous events

For more information about the Castan Centre's events from the year 2000 to 2009, visit this web page.