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21 June 2013

Human Rights and Security Cluster eventOne of Europe’s leading academic activists in the area of human rights, law and refugees, Professor Alison Phipps from the University of Glasgow, will be guest presenter at a Refugee Week event at the University of South Australia next Monday evening (June 24).

The event, ‘The Language of Justice: Mandela, letters and the global struggle for place today’, is being presented by UniSA’s Human Rights and Security Research and Innovation Cluster, and The Refugee and Migration Research Network, and supported by the Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet).

Prof Phipps’ visit to Adelaide and the University has been secured by the Human Rights and Security Research and Innovation Cluster, which is forging links with Prof Phipps in her work with GRAMNet.

Prof Phipps is set to arrive in Adelaide straight from the Rivonia Trial Conference being held this week in Pretoria, South Africa. The Rivonia Trial was a trial that took place in South Africa between 1963 and 1964, in which 10 leaders of the African National Congress were tried for 221 acts of sabotage designed to overthrow the apartheid system. Fifty years on, the Conference has been held to examine the transformative opportunities present in the space of the courtroom.

Human Rights and Security Research and Innovation Cluster head Ms Lynette Kelly says Prof Phipps’ presentation for Refugee Week will consider the importance of letters both in Nelson Mandela’s trial and in protest movements worldwide today.

“She will examine the languages of justice, the forms of speech and languages admitted in the Rivonia Trial,” Ms Kelly says.

“She will then look at those struggling for admittance today, with particular attention to letters sent by internationals in the struggles for justice in Israel-Palestine, reflecting on the rhetorical comparisons to Apartheid South Africa. In the contexts of anti-deportation campaigns in the UK, she will also explore particular letters of her own which were not ‘favoured with a reply’.”

Also presenting at the event will be UniSA senior Law School lecturer Dr Steven Churches, a legal specialist with 25 years’ experience in refugee law and Indigenous legal issues.

Dr Churches will discuss the early stages of Indigenous land struggles in Australia, from the fight for fair wages instead of ‘baccy’ and flour for station workers, leading to the granting of land rights to the Gurindji People in 1975.

The event will be convened by Professor Nicholas Procter, Chair in Mental Health Nursing at UniSA.

Ms Kelly says the Cluster is proud to be involved in the event and looks forward to Prof Phipps’ presentation drawing a positive reflection on the life achievements of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of South Australia in 1998 and is the international Patron of the University’s Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre.

A free public lecture for all interested members of the community, the event will be held in the Allan Scott Auditorium in the Hawke Building at City West Campus on Monday June 24 at 5.30pm (5.15pm for a 5.30pm sharp start). Anyone who would like to attend should RSVP via email to asma.babakarkhil@unisa.edu.au

Media note: Prof Alison Phipps will be available for interview at selected times on Monday 24 June and Tuesday 25 June.

Media contact: Kelly Stone office 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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