“All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.” – James Thurber

About Julian Burnside

Julian Burnside AO QC is an Australian barrister who practises principally in commercial litigation, trade practices and administrative law. He is also a human rights and refugee advocate, and author.

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News from Manus

A person who is held on Manus – at our expense, as taxpayers (thanks, Peter Dutton) – has written to me a couple of times setting out the hardship refugees on Manus are facing. Bear in mind, the misery we inflict costs us, the taxpayers, $570,000 per... read more

Trump’s Gettysburg Address

I am grateful to Barry Jones for drawing this to my attention: the Gettysburg address as Trump would have made it. First, the original: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the... read more

Florida School Shooting

A student who witnessed the shooting called out lawmakers on TV, looking directly into the camera and saying: “We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together, come over your politics, and get something... read more

Dishonest hypocrites

In 1974 the Parliament passed the Trade Practices Act which, by section 52, decreed that a corporation should not “engage in conduct which is misleading or deceptive…”.  But parliamentarians are not subject to similar restrictions. We accept without questioning that... read more

Two New Books About Asylum Policy

I have recently read two new books about Australia’s policy in relation to boat people. They are both excellent, they both contain a lot of facts which need to be understood, and they both deserve to be widely read. Claire Higgins’ recent book Asylum By... read more

Open Letter to NZ PM

An open letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand.  Join in: to sign the letter, email here, to show your support 6 November 2017 Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister Private Bag 18888 Parliament Buildings Wellington 6160 New Zealand Dear Prime Minister Warm... read more

A Cry For Help

This touching, truthful message is from a refugee suffering on Manus. How can we be so miserable to a tiny group of people?  Our politicians have persuaded us to forget the most basic thing: These people are human beings – they need our... read more

Human Rights & Social Justice

The Arts

Art, music and theatre

Asylum Seekers


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