2006 Australia-Israel Hawke Lecture

The Ethics of Terrorism:  Can there be peace and reconciliation?

Delivered by Marcus Einfeld

Thursday 10 August 2006

Co-presented by The Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, UniSA

Copy of paper delivered

Terrorism has become a terrifying part of normal life around the world. Is it a justifiable means of protest? Does it help in solving problems or merely create new ones? How do we achieve reconciliation between parties? How should warring parties respond to acts of terrorism? Is terrorism justified if it achieves its objective?

In this thought provoking lecture, Justice Marcus Einfeld will discuss the ethical dilemmas posed by terrorism and the impact that terrorism has had on the paths to peace between people, from both a historical perspective and in present and future regional conflicts.

Marcus EinfeldBiography: Marcus Einfeld was a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Courts of New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory for 15 years to 2001. He remains a Justice of a number of overseas courts as part of an Australian program to assist the courts of developing countries. He received the Order of Australia (AO) for services to international affairs and the promotion and protection of human rights and in 2002 was the UN Peace Laureate.

As Queen’s Counsel for 10 years and a practising barrister in Australia and the United Kingdom for 25 years, Justice Einfeld advised some of Australia’s largest companies and appeared in many of Australia’s most famous cases across a broad range of subject matters. He is widely sought after as an international public speaker on national good governance and anti-corruption programs, international peace and reconciliation, corporate ethics, legal issues, and human rights and obligations.

Since his retirement from full time judicial work, Justice Einfeld has become Chairman of a number of public companies and regularly advises corporations on corporate ethics and governance.

For many years an executive member of the New South Wales Board of Deputies and a Councillor of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Justice Einfeld launched and became the first Chairman of the Australian Campaign for the Rescue of Soviet Jewry.

While living in London, he founded and became the first Chairman of the National Campaign for Soviet Jewry of the United Kingdom and Ireland and thus was the only person to have headed two national campaigns in that cause.

He has often been a speaker for Israel and Jewish causes and confronting Palestinian and Arab spokespersons including in the media and at UN bodies, universities and other major institutions in many countries. He was Guest Youth Speaker at worldwide rallies after the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War and has been Guest Speaker at United Israel Appeal (UIA) functions in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.

Justice Einfeld is Patron of the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants and of the Sydney Jewish Museum. He is Ambassador of Hope for Jewish Care. He was keynote speaker at major rallies to mark the 50th and then the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps.


While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy – valuing our cultural diversity – and building our future.

Areas of study and research

+ Click to minimise