2018 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture: Our First Nations People in Custody: A National Disgrace

24 October 2018



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2018 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture: Our First Nations People in Custody; A National Disgrace  

Speaker: Phillip Boulten SC 

About the Lecture
Indigenous Australians are imprisoned at arguably the highest rate of imprisonment of any group of people in the world. About a quarter of all Australian prisoners are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. They are about 13 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-indigenous Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 24 times more likely to detained in a juvenile detention centre than non-indigenous children.

These statistics are well known and understood. There have been Royal Commissions, Commissions of Inquiry, numerous reports and investigations. The magnitude of the disparity is manifest - and disgraceful. This year's Paul Byrne memorial lecture will focus on why this disparity exists and what can be done to ameliorate it.

About the Speaker
Phillip Boulten is a senior criminal barrister practising at the Sydney Bar from Forbes Chambers. He appears in cases at all levels of the criminal justice system, principally in NSW but also in other jurisdictions. 
He appeared in the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT as senior counsel for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. He is the Chair of the Indigenous Issues Committee of the Australian Bar Association, Co-Chair of the NSW Bar Association's Working Group on the Over-representation of Indigenous People in Custody and a member of the Law Council's Criminal Law Committee. He is a past President of the NSW Bar Association and a former member of the executive of the Australian Bar Association.

Previous speakers include:
2017 - Terry O'Gorman
2016 - Stephen Odgers SC 
2015 - The Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC
2014 - The Hon. J D Heydon AC QC
2013 - The Hon. M Gleeson AC QC

About Paul Byrne SC
This is the seventh Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture honouring Paul Byrne SC, who had a life long interest in criminal law and the criminal justice system, as well being an active participant and generous supporter of the Institute of Criminology at the Sydney Law School. Paul Byrne SC graduated in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney, and worked with the Public Solicitor's Office as a solicitor. He became a barrister in 1979, and was appointed a public defender. In 1983 he was awarded a Master of Laws degree with First Class Honours, and was awarded a University Medal. He was appointed Director of the Criminal Law Review Division and a Commissioner of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission. In 1995 he took silk and continued an outstanding career as an advocate in courts at all levels.

The Paul Byrne Memorial Fund
The Paul Byrne Memorial Fund has been set up to honour and continue Paul's interest in the criminal justice system by supporting the ongoing activities of the Institute of Criminology, such as lectures, seminars, publications, and awards. Attendees of the Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture are warmly invited to make a donation to The Paul Byrne SC Memorial Fund. Gifts to The Paul Byrne SC Memorial Fund support the activities of the Institute of Criminology and other activities in the field of criminal law at Sydney Law School, in memory of the late Paul Byrne SC.

CPD Points: 1.5

This event is proudly hosted by the Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, highlighting the Institute's support of critical criminal justice research, practice, policy and debate.

Time: 6-7.30pm, followed by a cocktail reception

Location: Law Foyer, Level 2, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, Camperdown, University of Sydney

Cost: Free, however registration is essential. See registration link at top of the page

Contact: Professional Learning & Community Engagement