Event details
Event Start Date: 27/11/2019
Event End Date: 27/11/2019
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Does blindfolded Lady Justice really represent a good decision-maker?  

In fact, every legal adjudicator is biased by design, says Dr Hilary Evans Cameron, author of Refugee Law's Fact-Finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake. To make good decisions, she says, they must have the right kind of bias – and those deciding refugee status have a legal imperative to resolve doubt in the claimant’s favour. 

But how does it work in practice? Shaun Hanns, former Protection Obligations Decision Maker at Australia’s Department of Home Affairs, spent more than five years trying to establish and interpret the facts of asylum claims. When everyone involved knows the stakes are life-changing, how do you determine what is true and uphold the integrity of the asylum system? 

Leading barrister and human rights advocate Julian Burnside AO QC will moderate this fascinating conversation exploring truth, credibility and justice in deciding refugee claims. 

Date: 27 November 2019 

Time: 6pm to 7.30pm 

Venue: King & Wood Mallesons  

Level 50, Bourke Place

600 Bourke Street, Melbourne

 The events is free but registration is essential. 


About the speakers: 


Julian Burnside AO QC is a barrister, human rights advocate and author. He is a former President of Liberty Victoria, and a former member of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law’s Advisory Committee. He has acted pro bono in many human rights cases, in particular concerning the treatment of refugees. In 2004 he was elected as a Living National Treasure, in 2009 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, and in 2014 he was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. 


Hilary Evans Cameron is a former litigator who represented refugee claimants for a decade and now holds a doctorate in refugee law from the University of Toronto. Her research explores refugee status decision-making with a focus on credibility assessment. She is the author of a recent book, Refugee Law’s Fact-finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She was the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s 2017 Bora Laskin National Fellow in Human Rights Research. She is a Lecturer in the Ethics, Society and Law program at Trinity College, University of Toronto, and an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.


Shaun Hanns is a former Protection Obligations Decision Maker from the Department of Home Affairs. In late 2018 he left the Department to protest the ongoing detention of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and to argue for changes to Australia's deterrence policies. 


The Kaldor Centre wishes to thank King & Wood Mallesons for generously hosting this event: 

The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.