Public Event: ‘Legally Defensible? A Legal Examination of Refugee Policies and Associated Implications’


On 18 February 2016, at La Trobe Law School’s City Campus, the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) will be hosting Labor MP Anna Burke and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young as they discuss their parties’ refugee policies and plans. Joining them in discussion will be legal community stakeholders and experts in refugee law: Julian Burnside AO QC, Refugee Legal Director David Manne and La Trobe Law School Associate Professor Dr Savitri Taylor.

The event will be moderated by the Head of La Trobe Law School, Professor Patrick Keyzer.

Access the event flyer, here.


Anna Burke MP

Anna Burke MP Julian Burnside La Trobe law School

Anna Burke has served as the elected representative for Chisholm (in Melbourne’s east) since the 1998 Federal Election and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 43rd Parliament.

As an active and approachable local Member of Parliament, Anna is well known throughout Chisholm and committed to assisting members of her local community.

Many Australians from across the country know Anna not only for her role in the Speaker’s Chair, but for her highly successful campaign to protect people from unwanted telemarketing calls.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Australian Greens Senator for South Australia

The Greens La Trobe Law School Sarah Hanson Young
Sarah Hanson-Young came to the Australian Greens because it was the only party with policies that care for people and the environment. Since taking up her seat in the Senate in July 2008 she has worked passionately on issues including refugee and migrant rights, marriage equality, protecting South Australia’s precious wetlands and water resources, and delivering quality early education to Australian children.

With a background in activism and campaigning, Sarah has brought a strong human rights focus to her years in Parliament. She has long been an advocate for the abolition of offshore detention and for fairer treatment of people seeking asylum.

Julian Burnside AO QC

Julian Burnside ALHR Human Rights La Trobe Law School
Renowned Australian barrister, human rights advocate and author,  Julian Burnside AO QC was awarded the 2014 Sydney Peace Prize for his brave and principled advocacy for human rights.  Most recently Julian Burnside has been arguing the case for asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia by boat fleeing conflict in their homelands.

Burnside acted for the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties against the Australian government in the MV Tampa affair, arguing that Howard government’s treatment of those asylum seekers denied them rights afforded under the Migration Act and international treaties.  He is also a staunch opponent of indefinite, mandatory detention which current policy permits.

David Manne, Executive Director of Refugee Legal (formerly RILC)

David Manne ALHR Refugee Human Rights La Trobe Law School
David Manne is a human rights lawyer and migration agent who has worked in various capacities assisting refugees and asylum seekers for over 20 years.

David sat on the Board of the Refugee Council of Australia for seven years, and currently sits on a number of other non-government Boards, including the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Ethics Committee, and peak Government consultative bodies. He has also been appointed to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Advisory Board of Eminent Persons.

David has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Law Institute of Victoria Paul Baker Prize for Administrative and Human Rights Law and the Law Institute President’s Awards (2006 and 2011).

Dr Savitri Taylor, Associate Professor, La Trobe Law School

Savitri Taylor La Trobe Law School Immigration
Dr Savitri Taylor is an Associate Professor of Law at La Trobe University.  Her area of research interest is refugee law and asylum policy at the national, regional and international level.

Dr Taylor is Deputy Editor of  the refereed international relations journal Global, Change, Peace and Security  and an Editorial Board member of the refereed law journal Law in Context.  She is also very involved with the refugee sector in Australia and the region being, among other things, a member of the Management Committee of the Refugee and Immigration legal Centre Inc.  in Victoria and an individual member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network.

Q&A Event

Thursday 18 February 2016

Time: 6:00pm for refreshments and a 6:30pm start

Venue: La Trobe University City Campus, Level 20, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne.

Cost: General Public $30, ALHR Members $15, Concession/Students $20

RSVP: To book, please register via the event webpage

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