“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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Oppose Lifetime Visa Ban

Here is my submission to the Senate enquiry on the MIGRATION Legislation AMENDMENT (Regional processing cohort) BILL 2016 The Bill relevantly inserts sub-section 46A(2AA) The effect of that provision is to “prevent unauthorised maritime arrivals (UMAs) who were at... read more

Anti-Islamic rants

A person who lives in Australia emails me regularly (at least a couple of times a week) ranting about Muslims. He is clearly having an unhappy, insecure life.  Some part of me feels sorry for him.  But my pity for him is dimmed when he advocates: banning all Muslims... read more

A Grim Report from MITA

Melbourne Immigration Transit Accomodation at Broadmeadows (MITA) was the scene of another degrading episode. Border Force was living down to its reputation if thereport is even partly true.  (Note: since this was first posted, the story was covered on 7 November 2016... read more

More news from Manus

A colleague has recently given me an update about things on Manus.  Note in particular that Australia is not the attraction: they just want safety and certainty.  Instead we mistreat them and grind them into despair.  We are crushing them.  Is this really what we want... read more

What Would You Do?

Politicians repeatedly urge us to hate, and punish, and mistreat people who come here as boat people.  Their anti-boat-people policies and laws are said to be justified as a deterrent, so that people will not risk drowning. Let’s test that. Imagine for a moment... read more

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

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Asylum Seekers

Julian on Twitter

Republican plan to kill ObamaCare collapses. Massive smack down for @realDonaldTrump More when Trump's criminal activities are disclosed

.@Emirates Don't refoule Saeed. He is in deadly danger. Don't help @PeterDutton_MP destroy innocent people. #Australia #Torture #auspol Retweeted by Julian Burnside

It's sad you think that way. Acting decently probably reduces the risk of people wanting to harm us twitter.com/rkh10624/statu…

Next Tuesday. Why people leave home and seek asylum. What would YOU do? hrlc.org.au/events-list/20…

Why people seek asylum. Go to this event and find out: hrlc.org.au/events-list/20…

This is worth reading carefully: it speaks of what "happened " in 2018 !! Looks like fake news (By the way, I don't… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

So the party room cheered and clapped when they decided to destroy racial discrimination laws. Judge them by what they do #auspol Retweeted by Julian Burnside

Global refugee issue is "the challenge of our time", says @Peterhac. Hear us discuss with him, @alissaeverett,… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

Drug cartels to Trump: We love your plan to cut health care and with it drug treatment programs. Pushes up demand.… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

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