Achieving a just, democratic, peaceful and humane society through upholding human rights and the rule of law.


Upcoming Events

Child Rights: Camps, Cages, Walls and Wire

The International Commission of Jurists (Victoria) and Deakin Law School are holding an upcoming panel of experts to discuss the growing concern that children’s rights have been lost in the miasma of political rhetoric.

When: 5.30pm Wednesday 16 October
Location: Deakin Downtown, 727 Collins Square, Collins Street, Melbourne
Register here.

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2019 Annual Fundraising Dinner

Join us at this year’s fundraising dinner to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Ian Henderson, former ABC Newsreader, will lead a panel that includes Michele O’Neil, ACTU President; Felicity Broughton, Deputy Chief Magistrate; and Fiona McLeod S.C, Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Diversity Council.

The tickets can be booked online at:


Wednesday 11 September 2019, 5.30pm for 6.30pm
RACV City Club, Pavillion Room
501 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Tickets available now:
Tables for 10 – $1600
Members – $170
Non-Members – $180



Myanmar: when will the transition begin?

Professor Chris Sidoti
Date: Tuesday 4 June
Time: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Where: Melbourne Law School, Room 920, Level 9, 185 Pelham St, Carlton, VIC 3053
Register: click here

Myanmar is said to have begun its transition from a military dictatorship to democracy following the adoption of a new constitution in 2008. But do events since then justify the view that a democratic transition is underway?

On 24 March 2017, in response to allegations of massive human rights violations by Burmese military and security forces, the UN Human Rights Council formed an independent fact finding missions to establish the facts and circumstances in Myanmar. The investigation encompassed allegations of arbitrary detention, torture and inhumane treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence, extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings, enforced disappearances, forced displacement and unlawful destruction of property. On 18 September 2018, the Fact Finding Mission released its full report. On 14 March 2019, it announced an initiative for new investigations.

Chris Sidoti will discuss Myanmar’s transition in the context of his work as a member of United Nations Human Rights Council’s Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar.


Professor Sidoti is a human rights lawyer, advocate and teacher. He is currently adjunct professor at the Australian Catholic University. His many previous roles in the field of human rights in Australia and internationally include the Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Australian Law Reform Commissioner, Foundation Director of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Director of the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, and many others.

Venue Details:
Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law
Melbourne Law School | The University of Melbourne
T: +61 3 8344 8957 | E:
W: | W (Law School):

CPD: Emergency Medical Transfers from Nauru and Manus Island

The International Commission of Jurists (Victoria) is pleased to announce an upcoming CPD event.

The discussion will focus on the extraordinary story of how medical transfer cases were coordinated in the Federal Court, utilising a number of firms of solicitors and counsel, acting pro bono. The panel will also discuss the legal issues involved, and the lessons learned from the process. Of particular interest will be an update post 2 March 2019, when the Medivac Bill which came into force.

When: 5.30-6.30pm, 17 April 2019

Where: Russell Kennedy Lawyers, Level 12, 469 La Trobe Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000


The panellists will include:


David Burke – David Burke joined the Human Rights Law Centre in 2018, working primarily to protect the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum. He also coordinates the HRLC’s vital pro bono relationships with a number of Australia’s leading law firms. Prior to joining the HRLC, David was a lawyer at Lander & Rogers, where he founded and coordinated the firm’s Asylum Seeker Pro Bono Program.


Arti Chetty – Arti is a Senior Associate at Russell Kennedy. She has extensive experience working in refugee and migration law at all stages of the visa process, including representing people seeking asylum and refugees before delegates of the Minister for Home Affairs, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and in the Federal Circuit Court for judicial review matters.


Matthew Albert – Matthew practices in commercial, industrial and public law. He advises and acts in commercial disputes including contract, consumer, building and construction law. He recently won the John Gibson Award for contributions to human rights. Specifically, acting pro bono in multiple cases in the Federal and High Court concerning the urgent medical transfers of detained children to Australia for medical treatment.


Guy Gilbert SC – Guy is a member of the Victorian Bar and practices in commercial, employment, criminal and administrative law. He has extensive experience in the Federal Court, the Federal Circuit Court and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. He chairs the Migration Law Bar Association and the International Commission of Jurists (Victoria).

Kids Behind Barbed Wire


30 years after launching the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children are being held in appalling conditions in military detention in Palestine, behind wire in Mexico, on Manus and Nauru as part of Australia’s offshore processing policy and in a prison condemned for adult occupation in the NT of Australia. Children with mental disabilities suffer doubly in custody and in institutional care.

This panel session by the International Commission of Jurists (Victoria), in conjunction with the Deakin Law School, brings together global experts in person, online and by video to highlight the growing concern that the rights of children have been lost in the miasma of political rhetoric.

Our panel will answer questions on their experience of the practical and legal issues in their roles attempting to find dignity and respect for children subjected to the harshest of treatment. Panellists will be:

Gerard Horton – former Sydney barrister and co-founder of Military Court Watch, an NGO that monitors the detention and prosecution of children by the Israeli military.

Matthew Albert – Melbourne barrister, winner of the John Gibson Award for contributions to human rights and pro bono advocate in multiple cases in the Federal and High Court concerning the urgent medical transfers of detained children to Australia for medical treatment.

John Lawrence QC – Darwin barrister and campaigner for the rights of Aboriginal children in detention in the Northern Territory.

Dr Oliver Lewis – former Executive Director of the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre (MDAC), an NGO in Budapest working for the rights of people with disabilities and mental health issues in Europe and Africa, and Professor of Law and Social Justice at the University of Leeds.

Julie Gilbert Rosicky – Executive Director International Social Service, USA.

Cassandra Seery – an Associste Lecturer at Deakin Law School specialising in child rights and policy and a former member of the Victorian public service, where she led the vulnerable children portfolio in Aboriginal Affairs and specialised in other related portfolio areas, including multicultural affairs, family violence and youth justice.

The panel will be coordinated and hosted by Professor Felicity Gerry QC and Campbell Thomson.

When: Thursday 21 March, 6pm

Where: Deakin Downtown 727 Collins Square, Collins Street, Melbourne

Register Your Attendance:

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