Seminars & events

Upcoming Seminars


Conviction and imprisonment of innocent people: The root of untruth in the adversarial system - Monday 7 April 2014

Date: 7 April 2014

Venue: Faculty Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Cost: free but registration essential

Time: 6-8pm (registration from 5:30pm)

Register: online here.

About the seminar

This lecture, delivered by Professor Tim Bakken from US Military Academy at West Point, will question whether the adversarial system has come to accept a high number of innocent-person convictions by placing a focus on judicial process rather than on the discovery of exonerating facts. The lecture will propose a plea of innocence and innocence procedures, through which accused persons would be entitled to compel particular government investigations if they waived their right to silence and consented to answer questions from the government.

About the speaker

Tim Bakken is a professor in the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Prior to his academic career, he practiced law in New York City, where he served as a prosecutor in the homicide bureau of the Kings County District Attorney's Office (Brooklyn) and worked at law firms focusing on federal and commercial litigation. He has taught at several universities, including Ural State Law Academy in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and his subject areas include constitutional law and criminal law. He has worked under the Department of State and European Union to train judges and prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Department of Defense to establish a law department at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan in Kabul. He has been a research scholar at New York Law School, visiting scholar at the Columbia University School of Law, and visiting fellow at the Australian National University College of Law. He is a member of the bars of New York, Wisconsin, and several federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.


Used and Abused? The term 'gang' and its implications for ethnic minority youth - 16 April 2014

Date: 16 April 2014

Venue: Law Foyer, Level 2, New Law School Building, Eastern Ave University of Sydney

Cost: free but registration essential

Time: 6-8pm (registration from 5:30pm)

Register: online here.

About the seminar

In this Juvenile Justice seminar, Dr Hannah Smithson will deliver a keynote presentation on the problematic usage of the term 'gang' and its implications for ethnic minority youth in the United Kingdom. Dr Smithson will present an assessment of the current situation in relation to the extent, and nature, of violent gang activity in three predominately Asian (Pakistani and Bangladeshi) areas and outline empirical evidence of the problematic way that the term 'gang' is being used and abused in the United Kingdom. She will unpack these issues by examining how the term 'gang' is mobilised in UK policy and policing practices, the increased surveillance and policing of Asian communities, the ensuing policy transfer and its potential to further marginalise and isolate some ethnic minority communities and how the application of gang labels elevates the perceived level of risk young people pose.

Following her presentation, Dr Smithson will be joined in conversation with Dr Greg Martin and Dr George Morgan to discuss relevant issues such as: how might we extend these insights to the Australian context? What are some of the implications for Australian youth around the term 'gangs'? What is the role of the media? And how might we better understand and respond to young people's behaviour? Join us for an evening of stimulating discussion to examine the contentious topic of 'youth gangs'.

About the speakers

Hannah Smithson is Reader in Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Hannah has worked in the field of criminology and criminal justice for 15 years. She obtained her PhD from the University of Manchester in 2002 on the topic of 'Reducing the risks of youth offending through early intervention', following a fully funded scholarship awarded by a UK Police Force. Since then, she has undertaken numerous research and evaluation projects funded by government departments, local authorities, police forces and charities. Her research findings have impacted on policy at a local and national level including directly influencing UK government policy. Her research has been instrumental in shaping agendas in research and policy across three interconnected areas: Youth Justice, Youth Gangs and Community Crime prevention. She is an expert member of the UK's Ministry of Justice Evaluation Research Steering Group and a member of the Eurogang Network. Hannah is Editor-in-Chief of the Safer Communities Journal and has recently formed and is co-director of the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies. Her book Gang Policy in International Perspective: A Critical and Comparative Analysis of Contemporary Gang Responses will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in September 2015.

Greg Martin is Senior Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Sydney. His research expertise includes youth studies, social movements, cultural criminology, criminal law and public order policing. Greg's interest in youth and subculture began in the 1990s while researching his PhD on New Age Travellers, which he completed at the University of Exeter, UK. Since then he has written on a number of areas relating to youth and crime, including a comparative study of anti-social behaviour in Britain and New South Wales, and an analysis of the 'chav' phenomenon from a cultural criminological perspective. His more legally oriented work has involved writing about the role of secret evidence in the control of 'bikie gangs' across Australia. Greg is an Associate Editor of the journal, Crime Media Culture, and has published in numerous international journals, such as the British Journal of Criminology, Policing & Society, and the Journal of Law and Society.

George Morgan is a researcher at the University of Western Sydney's Institute for Culture and Society who has published research on a variety of themes: contemporary moral panics; Islamphobia; minority youth; and settler colonialism. He is currently researching youth and precarious labour, in particular how urban working class and minority youth including those from Aboriginal and Middle Eastern backgrounds, develop vocational aspirations in a world where jobs and skills are precarious. In the last three years he has published articles in journals including - Postcolonial Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Youth Studies Journal of Urban Affairs, Economic and Labour Relations Review, Journal of Cultural Economy. He is co-editor with Scott Poynting of the collection Global Islamophobia (Ashgate, 2012).

This event is sponsored by Juvenile Justice NSW and hosted by the Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School.


Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference - 1-3 October 2014

The Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School is hosting the 27th annual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference.

For more details click here.