All future 2017 events

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JSI Seminar Series: Liberal Citizenship and the Isolated Tribes of Brazil   View Summary
26 October 2017


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Speaker: Dr Luara Ferracioli, The University of Sydney

Since 1987, the Brazilian government has implemented a no-contact policy, which prevents contact between isolated indigenous tribes in the Amazon and members of the general public, including state officials. The government justifies this policy on the grounds that contact would expose members of isolated tribes to dangerous illnesses as well as violate their right to determine their own life processes.

In this paper, Luara Ferracioli brings liberal theory to bear on the question of whether Brazil's treatment of isolated indigenous tribes is justified. She argues that the current policy actually fails to treat isolated indigenous persons as free and equal.


About the Speaker

Dr Luara Ferracioli is Lecturer in Political Philosophy at The University of Sydney and a Researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the philosophy of immigration and the philosophy of the family, broadly conceived. Her most recent work is forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Studies, Philosophy Compass and Philosophical Quarterly.


CPD Points: 2

Democratic Rights Night   View Summary
26 October 2017


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About Democratic Rights Night

As a democratic state Australia may be thought to subscribe to and protect certain core ideas for its citizens. Such ideas include freedom of political communication, freedom of election, freedom of religious belief, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Freedom of assembly is protected under International Human Rights Law and encompasses the right of citizens to engage in peaceful protests. In the last few years, however, there has been a worrying national trend. State legislatures have enacted laws which prevent the exercise of such rights by heavily regulating peaceful protests. Anti-protest laws across Australia give police broad powers to detain protestors and shut down protests in certain circumstances. There has also been an increase in the penalties faced by peaceful protestors.

The Democratic Rights Night will explore the extent to which Australians are able to exercise democratic rights, and particularly focus on rights to protest. The Democratic Rights Night will cover:

  1. Anti-protest laws;
  2. The rights of environmental activists to participate in environmental decisions by engaging in protests; and
  3. The corporate influence on laws that diminish protest rights

Our expert panellists are:

Emily Howie, director of legal advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre. Emily runs the HRLC's Sydney office and leads its work on democratic freedoms, including freedom of assembly and association and free speech. In 2017 the HRLC intervened in Bob Brown's High Court challenge to Tasmania's anti-protest laws.

Sue Higgins, CEO of the Environmental Defender's Office NSW. The EDO specialises in public interest environmental law. As a litigator, Sue has carried many public interest environmental cases through many different courts in Australia, has acted for hundreds of community groups and individuals, has delivered legal workshops to communities all over NSW and beyond, and has represented EDO NSW and its clients on many advisory groups and forums. Sue has also represented hundreds of environmental protestors in criminal courts throughout NSW. Sue is passionate about public interest environmental law and providing access to environmental justice and;

David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. David has been with Greenpeace for nine years, campaigning to secure an earth capable of nurturing life in all its amazing diversity. Prior to joining Greenpeace, he worked as a lawyer and academic. David is a widely published commentator on politics, law, history and current affairs. He is an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Australia, and a research affiliate of the Sydney Environment Institute and an Adjunct Professor in the Sydney Democracy Network, both at Sydney University.

The panel will be moderated by Christine Winter, a PhD student from the University of Sydney, attached to the Sydney Environment Institute. Christine is blending her Anglo-Celtic-Māori cultural heritage, background in geomorphology and applied ethics and justice, in a PhD directed at exploring how we might approach decolonizing theories of Intergenerational Environmental Justice.

2017 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture   View Summary
1 November 2017


This event has reached capacity. Please email to be added to the waiting list.



2017 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture:

15 years after-Terrorist laws and civil liberties: Is the balance right or wrong?


Speaker:   Terry O'Gorman


About the Lecture
Following the recent announcement of the Federal Government's decision to create an Australian version of the British Home Office and so create a superministry dealing with terrorism, it is timely to examine the balance between national security powers and civil liberties since 9/11 in 2001.

The additional recent announcements that ADF Special Forces will be given a role in domestic terrorist policing as well as the Federal Government's announcement to force tech giants to decrypt messages and hand them over to law enforcement agencies further raise the vexed issue of maintaining a proper balance between police and Intelligence services powers on one hand while maintaining civil liberties on the other.

Since Australia is set to copy the British Home Office structure in relation to the policing of terrorism, the contrasting stances of British Prime Minister Theresa May and Sir Keir Starmer will be the focus of the presentation.


About the Speaker

Terry O'Gorman's public role in the Queensland and Australian Councils for Civil Liberties is well known. He has been practising solely as a criminal defence lawyer since 1976 and is an Accredited Criminal law Specialist in Queensland. Terry was named one of Queensland's pre-eminent criminal lawyers on Doyle's Leading Lawyers List in 2015 and 2016.


Terry was awarded the Order of Australia in a General Division in 1991 for services to the legal profession. He is currently the President of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties and Vice President of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties.

Previous speakers include:
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 sixth 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.

International Humanitarian Law Symposium   View Summary
1 November 2017 to 3 November 2017


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Presented by Australian Red Cross and the Sydney Centre for International Law (SCIL) at The University of Sydney Law School.

In times of conflict, journalists and war correspondents often bear witness to the horrific, the unspeakable, and the illegal. Civilians used as human shields. Ambulances and humanitarian workers attacked. And chemical weapons turned on families and bystanders.

But how can we be made aware of possible war crimes if no one reports them? Your role as a journalist matters more than ever. And international humanitarian law — known as the 'laws of war' — can help you in this vital role. They can also be a tool to keep you safer.

The inaugural Symposium, featuring of some of Australia's finest legal and writing specialists, will help explore your role in ending impunity for war crimes, and discover how international humanitarian law (IHL) can help you report safely from conflict zones. Seminars will also look at how citizen journalists and mobile videos can change the course of a conflict; the implications of 'fake news'; and whether good reporting can lead to improved compliance with the laws of war.

This will be crucial knowledge for all correspondents and writers interested or currently working in the field.


Download the program

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1 November, 5.30pm - 8.30pm
IHL Speed Session

Open to all media professionals and journalism students.

2 November, 9.00am - 5.30pm (cocktail reception follows from 5.30 - 7pm)
IHL Symposium 'Humanitarian and Journalistic Challenges of Ethical War Reporting'

Open to all media professionals, humanitarian organisation and academics and post-graduate students in the fields of law or journalism.

3 November, 9.00am - 5.30pm
Inaugural IHL Teaching Symposium

Open to all academics and post-graduate students currently teaching or interested in teaching IHL.


Registration fees (inc. GST):

IHL Speed Session on 1 November - Free entry

One day pass - $75.00
Two day pass - $120.00


Food Governance Showcase   View Summary
3 November 2017



Food is crucial to human survival and to the functioning of social, cultural and economic life. Yet the global food system faces serious threats that compromise its ability to deliver safe, adequate, nutritious, and sustainable food to the world's population. A key challenge for decision makers is identifying laws, policies, and regulations that will promote food security, safety, and sustainability, and improve nutrition and diet-related health, within the context of a rapidly changing food supply.

Drawing on the success of the 2016 Food Governance Conference, the Food Governance Node is hosting a showcase of home-grown work exploring these issues.

Like the conference before it, the Food Governance Showcase will cover food-specific laws and regulations, as well as other areas of law and policy that facilitate or impede access to a nutritious, equitable and sustainable food supply, for example, economic, trade, and intellectual property regimes. We welcome engagement with food system governance at the local, national, regional, and global level.

As the keynote event, the showcase will feature Law and Food: Back to Basics, where a panel of three legal experts will speak on specific areas of law and how they intersect with food and nutrition.

More information

View the program

The Food Governance Showcase is co-convened by Sydney Health Law at Sydney Law School and the Charles Perkins Centre.


SCIL Presents: Human Rights Council's Investigative Mechanisms   View Summary
8 November 2017


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Human Rights Council's Investigative Mechanisms with a Specific Focus on the Current Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar

Speaker: Chris Sidoti, International Human Rights Consultant

Two of the UN Human Rights Council's mechanisms are well known - the Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review. Less well known is the use made of special investigations into specific human rights situations in specific countries. These time-limited investigations are more targeted than the mandates of Special Procedures and often complement the work done by Special Procedures.

Chris Sidoti has recently appointed one of the three members of the HRC's Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar. He'll discuss the role of these focused investigation mechanisms in the HRC's work and the Myanmar FFM in particular.


About the speaker

Chris Sidoti is a human rights lawyer, advocate and teacher. He currently works from Sydney, Australia, as an international human rights consultant, specialising in the international human rights system and in national human rights institutions. He has been Australian Human Rights Commissioner (1995-2000), Australian Law Reform Commissioner (1992-1995) and Foundation Director of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1987-1992). He has also worked in non-government organisations, including as director of the International Service for Human Rights, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and for the Human Rights Council of Australia and the Australian Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace. In 2007-08 he was the independent chair of the United Kingdom Government's Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum. He is currently a member pf the United Nations Human Rights Council's Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar. He was also a member of the Board of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights from 2012 to 2017. He is an adjunct professor at the Australian Catholic University and an Affiliate at the Sydney Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney.


CPD Points: 1

This event is proudly hosted by the Sydney Centre for International Law at The University of Sydney Law School.


Beyond Punishment Seminar Series: Mental health and criminality: Are prisons 'the new asylums'?   View Summary
9 November 2017


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Mental health and criminality: Are prisons 'the new asylums'?

Much has been written about the prevalence of cognitive and mental health issues in prison populations. Have prisons become the 'The New Asylums' (FRONTLINE 2005) or are there more nuanced explanations for the perceived relationship between mental health, criminality and incarceration (NSWLRC 2012; Ben-Moshe 2017)? This seminar will examine possible concurrent factors that may lead people to come into contact with the criminal justice system: life skill deficits, substance abuse, domestic violence, housing insecurity and employment challenges. Do the cumulative impacts of disadvantage mean that the perceived prevalence of prisoners with mental health issues is over-stated? Should the focus shift, instead, to understanding and addressing the complex needs of people who offend? This provocative discussion will engage with incarceration, (de)institutionalization and medicalization.


This event will be chaired by Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan of the Sydney Law School. Her research interests are constructions of criminal responsibility and non-responsibility, the interaction of legal and expert medical knowledges and the historical development of the criminal law.


Dr Linda Steele is senior lecturer in law at University of Technology Sydney and visiting senior fellow at the University of Wollongong. Linda's research explores intersections of disability, law and injustice, particularly in the contexts of punishment, violence and institutionalisation. Since 2008 Linda has been a Board member of Women's Justice Network and from 2006 to 2009 worked as a solicitor at Intellectual Disability Rights Service.

Elizabeth McEntyre is an accredited Mental Health Social Worker, the Aboriginal Statewide Official Visitor for Northern NSW prisons and a Member of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal. Her PhD research 'Kidn But-ton Doon-ga: Black Women Know re-presents the lived realities of Australian Indigenous women with mental and cognitive disability in criminal justice systems.

Dr Olav Nielssen is a psychiatrist in private practice in Sydney, with appointments to St Vincents Hospital and as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Macquarie University. He was a psychiatrist at Justice Health for fifteen years, and for the last eleven years has performed a weekly clinic at the Matthew Talbot Hostel. He was also a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal between 2006 and 2016.

CPD Points: 1.5

This event is sponsored by Corrective Services NSW and hosted by the Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney Law School.


Overcoming the Sexual Contract. Gender Quotas, Care-taking and Constitutions: Lessons from Europe   View Summary
23 November 2017


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Please note: Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard, AMEX or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please email for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Speaker: Ruth Rubio Marín, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Sevilla

2017 Sydney Law School Distinguished Speaker Lecture:
Overcoming the Sexual Contract. Gender Quotas, Care-taking and Constitutions: Lessons from Europe

About the lecture

Enlightenment constitutionalism was grounded on a sexual contract defining gender roles as part of the basic structure of civil society. In current times, an emerging vision is taking shape around the need to enable both men and women to participate equally in all relevant domains of citizenship and to reclaim the domain of social reproduction as a domain of citizenship. Drawing mostly from examples of European constitutionalism and focusing on the debates around gender quotas and measures to encourage men´s involvement in care-taking, this lecture shows how old constitutionalism, once a reactionary force, is changing in the new century to facilitate the challenge of the sexual contract.

About the speaker

Ruth Rubio Marín is Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Sevilla. Formerly (2008-2016) she held a Chair in Comparative Public Law at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Professor Rubio has taught at several other prestigious academic institutions including Columbia Law School and Princeton University. Her research represents an attempt to understand how public law creates categories of inclusion and exclusion around different axis including gender, citizenship, nationality and ethnicity. Methodologically, she combines law and political theory. Professor Rubio is the author of over 40 articles and author, editor and co-editor of several books including Immigration as a Democratic Challenge, Cambridge University Press, 2000; The Gender of Constitutional Jurisprudence, with Baines (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2004; What Happened to the Women? Gender and Reparations for Human Rights Violations, Rubio-Marín (ed.), Social Science Research Council, New York, 2006; The Gender of Reparations: Subverting Sexual Hierarchies while Redressing Human Rights Violations, Rubio-Marín (ed.) Cambridge University Press, 2009; The Battle for Female Suffrage in the EU: Voting to Become Citizens, with Rodriguez Ruiz (eds.) Brill, 2012; Human Rights and Immigration (ed.) Oxford University Press, 2014; Transforming gender citizenship: The irresistible rise of gender quotas in Europe, with Lépinard (eds.) Cambridge University Press, 2018 forthcoming and Gender Parity and Multicultural Feminism (with Kymlicka (eds.), Oxford University Press, 2018 forthcoming.

CPD Points:

Sydney Ideas: Promoting Human Rights through Trade   View Summary
28 November 2017


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Sydney Ideas: Promoting Human Rights through Trade

Dr Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade

Co-presented with the Human Rights Program, and the European Studies Program in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sydney Law School, and the Delegation of the European Union to Australia

The European Union and its Member States hold a strong and principled position against the death penalty and its abolition is a key objective for the Union's human rights policy. The EU is strongly committed to ensuring worldwide respect for the universal and absolute prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Trade can play a role towards this objective. Indeed, the European Union has applied export restrictions and controls on tools used for capital punishment and torture for more than twelve years. As a consequence, the availability of goods for capital punishment and torture has become more difficult and more expensive.

In September in New-York, Commissioner Malmström and Ministers of like-minded countries have launched the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade to stop the trade in goods used for torture and the death penalty.

In her public lecture in Sydney, the Commissioner will outline the goals of this Alliance, the future steps, and how trade can contribute to the promotion of human rights, not only against torture and capital punishment, but also through the reduction of poverty, promotion of LGBTI rights and sustainable development.


Cecilia Malmström is a Swedish politician who has served as European Commissioner for Trade since 2014, having previously served as European Commissioner for Home Affairs from 2010 to 2014. In her current position, she represents the EU in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international trade fora. She is also responsible for negotiating bilateral trade agreement with key countries, including the soon to be launched negotiations with Australia. More about the speaker.

CPD Points: 1

Law & Business Seminar: Does Conviction Matter?    View Summary
29 November 2017


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Please note: Individual online registrations MUST be paid by Mastercard or VISA. To pay by cheque or arrange a group registration, please email for an invoice. We apologise for any inconvenience.


Does Conviction Matter? Do Deferred Prosecution Agreements Affect Reputational Sanction for Corporate Crime

Speaker: Professor Jennifer Arlen, NYU School of Law

Deferred Prosecution Agreements are a hot topic in Australia at the moment. The federal government is considering their introduction to address perceived problems with prosecuting companies accused of, for example, fraud or bribery.

There has been a dramatic rise in the use of such agreements in the United States over the last couple of decades. US prosecutors regularly enter into corporate deferred and non-prosecution agreements (D/NPAs) with firms with detected criminal misconduct. Critics of this practice claim that prosecutors mute the reputational damage costs imposed on firms when they resolve cases through D/NPAs instead of requiring corporations to plead guilty. In their view, formal conviction enhances deterrence by supplementing financial penalties with enhanced reputational penalty for corporate crime.

Professor Arlen's seminar will question this claim. Professor Arlen's seminar, which is based on a joint research with Cindy Alexander of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, will show that D/NPAs do not necessarily impose smaller reputational costs than formal corporate conviction. The joint research project shows that criminal settlements impose reputational cost on firms when news of the settlement leads interested third-parties-suppliers of goods, services of capital; customers; or lenders-to be less willing to deal with a sanctioned firm on favorable terms due to the perceived risk of future harm.

About the Speaker

Jennifer Arlen is the Norma Z. Paige Professor of Law and founder and director of the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at New York University School of Law (NYU). She has published over 50 articles and book chapters in leading scholarly publications. Jennifer has been a visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology, Harvard Law School, and Yale Law School, and was the Ivadelle and Theodore Johnson Professor of Law and Business at USC School of Law before moving to NYU.

Commentator: Dr Olivia Dixon, The University of Sydney Law School

Chair: Associate Professor Arlie Loughnan, The University of Sydney Law School

Registration (GST inclusive)
Full Fee: $77
Sydney Law School Alumni: $66
Sydney Law School Full Time Student: $44
Group 3+: $55

CPD Points: 1


Upcoming Intensive Course:

Business Crime

27, 28, 30 November & 1 December

Engage with Professor Arlen in this intensive course which covers the law and effective enforcement policy governing crimes committed by large multinational corporations.

You can apply to study this on a one off basis without assessment.

Click here to apply.