“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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Petition for a Bill of Rights in NSW

The Newtown Amnesty International Action Group has put up a petition for a Bill of Rights in NSW: nsw-bill-of-rights-petition Victoria has a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.  The sky has not fallen in. The ACT has a Human Rights Act.  The sky has not... read more

New restrictions at MITA

I have just received the following report about arbitrary restrictions at MITA (Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation): “Since I started visiting (just after the Border Force Act in July last year), the onshore detention regime has become increasingly... read more

Coffee, croissants and crusades

12 September 1683 is the date on which the Ottoman siege of Vienna ended. In 1683, Vienna was struggling to survive a siege by the Ottoman Turks.  A Pole named Kolscitzky, who was learned in Turkish, came to their rescue.  He escaped through enemy lines to reach the... read more

Myki Officers still behaving badly

The culture of many Myki Authorised Officers continues to be appalling.  Consider this message I received recently: (On a suburban train) I was approached by a ticket inspector who asked me to show him my ticker. At the time I was reading reports from my family... read more

Boat people: Deterrents

Most Australians have trouble understanding what it means to put your life in the hands of a people smuggler, or why anyone would do it.  Try to imagine that you are a refugee: you are part of an ethnic minority in Afghanistan.  Your people have been the target of... read more

Peter Porter: a seminar

SEMINAR:  A POET’S ARCHIVE Peter Porter’s Creative Legacy The National Library is proud to be the custodian of the personal archive of poet Peter Porter. From first drafts to page proofs, from notes to correspondence, the collection reveals the life of an Australian... read more

Human Rights & Social Justice

The Arts

Art, music and theatre

Asylum Seekers

Julian on Twitter

Went to Thomas Piketty's talk in Sydney on Sunday & @albericie has done a great job drawing out the key points here abc.net.au/news/2016-10-2… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

Renowned Sydney photographic gallery, Black Eye Gallery comes to fortyfivedownstairs. Opening 5pm Thursday 27 Oct. fortyfivedownstairs.com/wp2016/event/p…

Not enough water on Nauru. Refuges in the community have to purchase their bottled water: prices similar to Australian bottled water.

Nauru has run out of water. No bathing or laundry washing allowed in the camp for two days

Tanya Plibersek in her last answer shows Labor & LNP are equally bad on refugees #qanda

Nauru has smaller land area than Tullamarine airport. Thinking Nauru can manage refugees we won't take is insane #qanda

Offshore detention is collective punishment of innocent people. It's immoral #qanda

Sinodinos should watch the 4Corners program so he knows what is going on #qanda

Sinodinos just misstated the effect of the Border Force Act: teachers cannot "come back and resign and report what they've seen" #qanda

Border Force Act is all about hiding the facts from us about our mistreatment of innocent people #qanda

Trump brags about groping women; women come forward and say he did it; then he says he didn't do it. Duh! #qanda

One Nation senators: offcuts of history's worst mistakes #qanda


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