Preventing abuse in detention: How can Australia fulfill its new OPCAT monitoring obligations?

This event is presented by The Castan Centre, together with RMIT University and The Centre for Innovative Justice.

The Australian Government has committed to ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture by the end of this year. Ratification will require Australia to develop a robust and independent system of monitoring all places of detention, including prisons and closed psychiatric facilities as well as places that may occasionally restrict people's freedoms, such as aged care homes. The federal government's challenge is complicated by the fact that many of these places are under state or territory control. 

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. 

Date: Thursday 7th December 2017
Time: 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Venue: Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
RSVP: click here to register

Chaired by Professor Bronwyn Naylor, RMIT University.

Professor Nick Hardwick, Royal Holloway, University of London

Nick Hardwick is a Professor in Criminal Justice at the School of Law, Royal Holloway University of London and Chair of the Parole Board for England and Wales. He is involved in a range of projects providing support to emerging detention monitoring systems and assessment of places of deprivation of liberty in a variety of different jurisdictions.

From 2010 to 2016 he was HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales which is the lead body in the UK's National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) established to meet the obligations arising from the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT).  From 2003 to 2010 he was the first Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. 

The first half of his career was with NGOs.  He began work with young offenders for the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO), worked with young homeless people for Centrepoint. He was Chief Executive of the British Refugee Council from 1995 to 2003 and during this period he was a member of the Executive Committee and then Chair of the European Council of Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

He is the Chair of New Horizon Youth Centre, a trustee of Prisoners Abroad which supports UK citizens who are or have been imprisoned abroad and their families and has served on the boards of many other charities concerned with homelessness, refugees and prisons.  He was awarded a CBE in 2010.

Deborah Glass, Victorian Ombudsman

Deborah Glass OBE is the Victorian Ombudsman. She was appointed in March 2014 for a term of 10 years. 

Deborah was raised in Melbourne where she studied law at Monash University. She practiced law briefly in the city, before joining a US investment bank in Switzerland in 1985. She was appointed to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission at its inception in 1989, where she became Senior Director, instrumental in raising standards in the investment management industry. 

Deborah moved to London in 1998 where she became the Chief Executive of the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation. In 2001, she joined the UK Police Complaints Authority, and in 2004 became a Commissioner with the new Independent Police Complaints Commission of England and Wales (IPCC).  She was the Commissioner responsible for London, and for many high profile criminal and misconduct investigations into police conduct. Deborah was appointed IPCC Deputy Chair in 2008, carrying operational responsibility for the IPCC's regional Commissioners, and was awarded an OBE for her service in the New Year Honours List in 2012. 

Deborah is committed to ensuring fair and reasonable decision making in the Victorian public sector, and to improving public administration. She holds a firm belief in public sector integrity and the protection of human rights.   

Michael White, New Zealand Human Rights Commission

Michael John Venus White is a Human Rights Lawyer and Advocate. For the past twenty years he has worked for international organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, National Human Rights Institutions and Government agencies across the Asia Pacific region. For the past 10 years he has worked as a Senior Legal Adviser to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission where he is responsible for strategic litigation, engaging with and reporting to the United Nations, and advising on government policy and legislation. Michael is an experienced trainer and facilitator and is an accredited Master Trainer for the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. He has advised extensively on the OPCAT domestically and internationally, and has coordinated the activities of New Zealand’s central NPM for many years. In 2015 he was appointed as an Asia Pacific Torture Prevention Ambassador. Michael has published widely on international law and human rights law and practice.


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