2017 UniSA Nelson Mandela Lecture

Geoffrey Robertson QC In-Conversation with
The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

The Mandela Factor –
The Centrality and Universality of Human Rights Norms both Internationally and within Australia

6.30pm-7.45pm, Friday 13 October, Adelaide Convention Centre

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and the UniSA School of Law

Access video HERE


The UniSA Nelson Mandela Lecture series was established in 2008 to honour

Nelson Mandela, the Hawke Centre's first International Patron (2001-2013).

The purpose of this lecture series is to promote the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and the value of truth and reconciliation in life and public affairs. The ideal of justice for common humanity underpins all the lectures presented.

Geoffrey Robertson QC

Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. is a human rights barrister, academic, author and broadcaster. He is one of the most esteemed figures in the world of law and human rights.

Mr Robertson is a founder and joint head of Doughty Street Chambers. He serves as a Master of the Bench at the Middle Temple, a recorder, and visiting professor at Queen Mary University of London.

Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. has been counsel in many landmark cases in constitutional, criminal and media law in the courts of Britain and the commonwealth and he makes frequent appearances in the Privy Council and the European Court of Human Rights.

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The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG

Michael Kirby is a renowned human rights expert and defender, both nationally and internationally. He is also admired for his sustained leadership and advocacy of social and legal reform.

He is an international jurist, educator and former judge.  He served as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1975-83); Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84); Judge of the Federal Court of Australia (1983-4); President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984-96); President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-96) and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996-2009).

He has undertaken many international activities for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the OECD and the Global Fund Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  He has also worked in civil society, being elected President of the International Commission of Jurists (1995-8).  His recent international activities have included member of the Eminent Persons Group on the Future of the Commonwealth of Nations (2010-11); Commissioner of the UNDP Global Commission on HIV and the Law (2011-12); Chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry on DPRK (North Korea) (2013-14); and Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Essential Healthcare (2015-16).  He is also heavily engaged in international arbitrations; domestic mediations; and teaching law.  He is Honorary Professor at 12 Australian and overseas universities.

In 1990 he was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal.  In 1998, he was named Laurette of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education. In 2010 he was named co-winner of the Gruber Justice Prize.  In 2011 he received the inaugural Australian Privacy Medal.  The honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Laws and Doctor of the University have been conferred on him by universities in Australia and overseas. 

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Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and the UniSA School of Law



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 diversity - and building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.