Launch puts spotlight on peace and social justice

Published 2 November 2006

Human rights issues ranging from refugees to environmental degradation are among the topics covered in a book to be launched by the Honourable Justice Michael Kirby in Sydney tomorrow (Friday, November 3).

Justice Kirby, a member of the High Court, will also launch Southern Cross University’s re-named Centre for Peace and Social Justice. The Centre brings together researchers in the areas of peace, law and justice, cultural studies, politics and policy, Indigenous studies, education, social sciences and media.

Justice Kirby, the Centre’s Patron, said he welcomed research in human rights theory and practice, peace studies, cultural diversity and the identities of racial, political, national, sexual, cultural and other identities.

“Recent events in the world show how important these topics are to the global community of the 21st century,” Justice Kirby said.

The re-naming of the Centre occurred this year when Professor Bee Chen Goh joined the University as the new Head of the School of Law and Justice. Professor Goh specialises in ‘International Law of Peace’ and sees a conjunction of her work with the previously named Centre for Cultural Diversity and Social Justice. The re-naming is to highlight the significance of peace underlying human endeavours.

The book 'Activating Human Rights' is co-sponsored by Southern Cross University, United Nations University and the University of Ulster. The book is a based on papers originally presented at the international conference 'Activating Human Rights and Diversity', held in Byron Bay in 2003.

Co-editor of the book and co-director of the Centre, Associate Professor Baden Offord, said the book advanced a powerful and convincing affirmation of the importance of human rights in the 21st century.

“The book covers a wide range of perspectives and issues on human rights theory and practice,” Dr Offord said.

The launch will be attended by Southern Cross University Chancellor the Honourable John Dowd AO QC.

It will be held at Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Sydney, on Friday, November 3, at 6pm. For bookings contact Gleebooks on 02 9660 2333 or

Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.