Implementing Human Rights in Closed Environments 2012 Conference

20 and 21 February 2012
Monash University Law Chambers
555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

This Conference is an outcome from an Australian Research Council Grant entitled Applying Human Rights Legislation In Closed Environments: A Strategic Framework for Managing Compliance (2008-2012). The project is being undertaken by four Chief Investigators (Professor Arie Freiberg, Dr Bronwyn Naylor, Dr Stuart Thomas and Dr Julie Debeljak), a Partner Investigator (Dr Inez Dussuyer), and six collaborating organisations: the Commonwealth Ombudsman; Ombudsman Victoria; the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission; the Office of the Public Advocate (Vic); the Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (WA); and the Office of Police Integrity (Vic).

The "closed environments" being examined under the research project are linked to the Collaborating Organisations. They are prisons, police cells, closed psychiatric and disability settings, and immigration detention. The key aims of the research project are: to identify the impact in practice of human rights legislation on the functioning of these closed facilities; to understand and influence the work of the monitoring bodies whose role it is to scrutinise the treatment of people held in closed environments; and to propose strategic frameworks for implementing human rights in practice.

The Conference will bring together eminent international and national experts from government agencies, intergovernmental agencies, monitoring and oversight mechanisms, non-government organisations, practitioners, and academics working on implementing human rights in closed environments. It will enable representatives from different jurisdictions and different sectors, operating under international, regional and domestic frameworks, to examine how human rights are implemented and monitored in closed environments, where the potential risk for abuses is high. It will provide invaluable insights into the experience of comparative jurisdictions, highlighting the successes to date and the ongoing challenges in current practice, particularly the challenge in managing the balance between respecting the human rights of individuals, and the responsibility to maintain security and safety in different closed environments and the broader community.

Convenors: Bronwyn Naylor and Julie Debeljak
Committee: Julie Debeljak, Inez Dussuyer, Arie Freiberg, Bronwyn Naylor and Stuart Thomas

Available conference papers and powerpoints

Book of abstracts

Final program

Keynote speakers

Right Now's reviews of the conference

Review of day one

Review of day two