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Michael Kirby Lecture Series: human rights on the agenda


Jane Munro
19 August 2010
The Southern Cross University School of Law and Justice fourth annual Michael Kirby Lecture series will this year feature The Hon Justice Margaret McMurdo AC who will be discussing the topic - 'An Australian Human Rights Act: Quixotic Impossible Dream or inevitable natural progression?'

The free keynote address will be delivered in the Whitebrook Theatre at Southern Cross University's Lismore campus on Friday, September 3 at 6pm followed by a dinner to be held at the on-campus Zest Restaurant with the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, retired Justice of the High Court of Australia, attending as dinner speaker. The dinner starts at 7.30pm and tickets are $75.

Justice McMurdo’s address will discuss the recommendations of the National Human Rights Consultative Report: the Commonwealth Government's response to it; the Victorian and ACT experience; and current international human rights perspectives.

With a long and respected legal career, Justice McMurdo has held the position of President of the Court of Appeal for the Supreme Court of Queensland since 1998 – she was the first woman appointed to this role.

She was made a judge of the District Court of Queensland in 1991, becoming the first female judge in that state. From 1993 through until 1998 she also held a commission as a Children's Court judge – again the first woman in Queensland awarded this role.

In 2003, she was awarded the Centenary Medal. In 2006, the Queensland Law Society presented her with the Agnes McWhinney Award for outstanding contributions to the law and the community. In 2007, Justice McMurdo was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the law and judicial administration in Queensland: particularly in the areas of legal education and women's issues; to the support of a range of legal organisations; and to the community.

At the Michael Kirby Lecture Series dinner Mr Kirby will discuss the idea that the future of the Commonwealth of Nations depends on improving the machinery to protect basic human rights and also depends upon widening the understanding of what constitutes human rights in the world today.

The Michael Kirby Lecture Series will be held on Friday, September 3. Please RSVP by Friday, August 27. For more information visit , email [email protected] or telephone 02 6620 3375.

Photo: The Hon Justice Margaret McMurdo AC will deliver the free keynote address for the fourth annual Michael Kirby Lecture series to be held at Southern Cross University.