“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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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

Fact Checking Pauline Hanson

Senator Pauline Hanson must be grateful to Senator Brandis.  He declared that every one has the right to be a bigot. Pauline Hanson is a bigot, and she revels in it.  Her bigotry is accompanied by ignorance, which makes her public utterances ugly and dangerous,... read more

Islamophobia rampant

I have had an interesting exchange of correspondence with someone I have never met.  He has emailed me a number of times warning me about the dangers of Islam in Australia.  Here are our last exchanges (for obvious reasons, I have removed any identifying details):... read more

The election

The Guardian Australia today published the views of a panel on the effect of the election on various aspect of Australian life.  I was asked to contribute a bit about refugees. The whole Guardian article is here.  My bit is set out below: So far, the election result... read more

Human Rights & Social Justice

The Arts

Art, music and theatre

Asylum Seekers

Julian on Twitter

Looks like @mrjoeaston has a pathological obsession with Deborah Thomas & Ardent Leisure. Needs to get a wife twitter.com/mrjoeaston/sta…

Big question: why does @mrjoeaston have it in for Deborah Thomas & Ardent Leisure? Pathological obsessive lunatic? twitter.com/mrjoeaston/sta…

Heard a speech by Philippe Sands at Melbourne Writers Festival last night. Best speech I have ever heard. Congrats to @LibertyVic and MWF.

You're losing your touch. Have another drink twitter.com/morpheusunderw…

Dutton has not only defamed Australia, he has helped trash our reputation as a country twitter.com/strat_pavlis/s…

OK, so name any boat person who has come here and been convicted of any terrorist offences. I bet you can't twitter.com/senateoverload…

And see Firstdog's take on Scomo theguardian.com/commentisfree/… twitter.com/blackdouglas/s…

FirstDog Onthemoon at his dazzling best on Scott ("don't trust me if my lips are moving") Morrison theguardian.com/commentisfree/…

26 August 2001: MV Tampa rescued 434 Afghan Hazaras whose boat had sunk. The rescue led to Australia's shameful Pacific Solution

This Sat, Deakin Edge: Dissecting the ideas of good and evil - and the music bridging both @philippesands #mwf16 hopp.xyz/bxMNt


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