Geoffrey Robertson asks: "Who owns the past?"

Friday, 29 March 2019

grobertsonGeoffrey Robertson AO QC, one of the world’s most celebrated human rights lawyers, is an advocate for the return of artefacts to their rightful owners including aboriginal remains kept in British museums and the Parthenon Marbles. In delivering the John Bray Oration at the University of Adelaide on Tuesday 2 April he will ask the question: “Who owns the past?”

Geoffrey Robertson has been a UN war crimes judge, leading counsel in many notable Old Bailey trials, has defended hundreds of men facing death sentences in the Caribbean, and has won landmark rulings on civil liberty from the highest courts in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth. He is founder and head of Europe’s largest human rights practice, Doughty Street Chambers, and is a Master of the Bench at Middle Temple.

Books by Mr Robertson such as Crimes Against Humanity, have inspired the global justice movement. Other books and publications include Dreaming Too Loud; The Statute of Liberty; The Tyrannicide Brief; and The Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians? His new book, Rather his Own Man: Reliable Memoirs, is a riveting autobiography bringing Mr Robertson’s fascinating and colourful career up to date following his acclaimed memoir, The Justice Game. He has made many television and radio programs, notably Geoffrey Robertson’s Hypotheticals, and has won a freedom of information award for his writing and broadcasting.

Geoffrey Robertson has changed the way we think about human rights. He was Australian Humanitarian of the Year in 2014 for his outstanding work as a human rights lawyer and advocate in courts throughout the world. In 2011, he received the New York State Bar Association’s Award for Distinction in International Law and Affairs.

Dr John Bray, AC QC was an Australian lawyer, judge, academic, university administrator, Crown officer, and published poet, who, from 1967-1978, served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia. He was Chancellor and alumnus of the University of Adelaide. Mr Robertson will reflect upon his memory of Dr Bray’s influence on him as a law student.

WHAT:                   Geoffrey Robertson AO QC gives the John Bray Oration: ”Who owns the past?”
WHERE:                The Braggs Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide, North Terrace campus
WHEN:                  Tuesday 2 April 2019
TIME:                    5.30–6.30 pm
COST:                   $10.

Image: Geoffrey Robertson AO QC


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Crispin Savage
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University of Adelaide
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