“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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Schrödinger’s Refugees

Recently, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that “They won’t be numerate or literate … They would languish on unemployment … These people will be taking Australian jobs.” (The Sydney Morning Herald, May 18 2016).  He said this in an... read more

Update from Manus

Delta Compound: recommended capacity by Red Cross: 225. Current reality: 255 and increasing as more Positive outcomes are handed down. Oscar Compound: 270 refugees using a total of 6 washing machines , 6 dryers, 16 toilets, 20 showers. Water bottles are used for... read more

Norfolk Island

Natasha Blucher got a lot of stick recently about a proposal she authored ages ago.  It dealt with the idea of using Norfolk Island instead of Nauru or Manus, on the footing that it would be available (in principle) to the Australian government, and would not be as... read more

News from Nauru

A colleague sent this recent message from Nauru.  The writer is not politically active at all.   We should all be grateful that there are people like this who are willing to report accurately, neutrally in such circumstances. But in addition we need to remember that... read more

A blunt assessment

A colleague just sent me a blunt assessment of where we have got to with our warehousing of asylum seekers.  It’s hard to disagree with any of this, but it is important to add that asylum seekers are NOT “illegal”: that’s just a political lie. ... read more

Dutton on the rampage

Latest report, 27 April 2015: At 3.30am 7 SERCO ERT guards in blackshirts entered BITA detention camp in Brisbane and dragged three people out of their beds and out of the camp to a waiting ADAGOLD charter flight which departed at 5.35am. Among the three was a woman... read more

Letter from Manus

Here is a letter from Manus Island: the detention centre which has just been declared illegal by the PNG Supreme Court. Letter from Manus The letter had dozens of signatures on it.  I have removed them to avoid reprisals against the people who wrote... read more

Manus: an emotional rant

A colleague in Sydney recently sent me what follows. She described it as an “emotional rant”. I think it makes a lot of sense. Tragically, it show just how little sense our refugee policies make.  Turnbull and dutton should hang their heads in shame.... read more

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Julian on Twitter

Albo: "Promise the world; deliver nothing" Says he is talking about Greens but sounds like ALP or LNP #qanda

A man with a $55m house telling me to live within my means should try living within my means. #qanda Retweeted by Julian Burnside

Some refugees die seeking safety. History shows that. We just don't want them to die where we will know about it

If people don't risk dying at sea to reach safety here, do we mind them dying seeking safety somewhere else?

Albo wants to treat people humanely, but his party will hold people offshore until they lose hope #qanda

Albo is right about refugees. But Labor still intends to mistreat boat people #qanda

Pyne: people should be allowed to donate to any party they like. It looks dodgy when they donate to BOTH major parties: buying influence?

Christopher Pyne is very skilled: he avoids answering any question he doesn't like, and side-steps ones which would hurt him #qanda

Join the war on science: vote Liberal #qanda

Amazing how much we need new boats when an MP from the boat building State is in political trouble #qanda

Two of the working Australians who don't benefit from political donations, now on #4Corners pic.twitter.com/rMyQjfRmEf Retweeted by Julian Burnside

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