“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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The Latest

Wilson Parking: hopeless

What sort of operation is Wilson Parking running?  How hard can it be to run a  car park?  Apparently it is much to hard for the geniuses who run Wilson Parking. For almost a decade I have had a permanent car park at a site run by Wilson Parking.  In February 2017,... read more

Climate Change

Climate change denial is on the rise, encouraged no doubt by the example of that great intellectual President Donald Trump.  That other intellectual giant Andrew Bolt had a crack at me recently for what I thought was the modest suggestion that we need to listen to... read more

George Brandis QC A-G

Q&A on Monday 20 February 2017 included Attorney-General George Brandis QC. Brandis showed rather unhappy aspects of himself, as he sought to justify enormous and extravagant expense allowances for Federal parliamentarians while justifying the meanness of NDIS... read more

The Apology, 9 years on

On 13 February 2008, Kevin Rudd apologised to the stolen generations.  It was not great rhetoric, but it was a fine moment, because (for once) we heard a Federal Politician who sounded sincere. 9 years later, here is a message from Liberty Victoria: Yesterday marked... read more

The dodgy US refugee deal

When the agreement with the US was announced, the details were so meagre that it was hard to place much reliance on it. Then Donald Trump was elected President of the USA and the deal looked even more speculative. But now the realities of it are becoming apparent: it... read more

Climate change

I gave a speech for 350.org.au just recently.  Here is the substance of what I said. And before you read it (because it’s a bit depressing) cheer yourself up with First Dog on The Moon’s recent excoriation of our “Leader” Malcolm Turnbull on... read more

Dishonest Dutton: at it again

The following news item appeared in The Australian on 21 November 2016, under the caption ‘I won’t be bullied’ (if you follow the link, you have to scroll down for the piece): Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has crossed swords with Bill Shorten in a fiery question... read more

Big Deal

Australia has announced an agreement with the US in relation to refugees presently held on Nauru and Manus.  In announcing the agreement, Prime Minister Turnbull and Immigration Minister Dutton were careful to avoid giving any significant detail of the arrangement. ... read more

News from Manus

I have just received another report from Manus.  Here it is, in edited form to preserve the anonymity of people involved: “In addition to declining mental health-we had an attempted suicide by hanging in October-a number of refugees suffering from serious... read more

Human Rights & Social Justice

The Arts

Art, music and theatre

Asylum Seekers

Julian on Twitter

A must-read on #refugees: @higginsCM new book #AsylumByBoat, described by @smh as 'rigorous and scrupulously balanc… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

Isn't this the woman who wanted to run down Yasmin Abdel-Magied with her car? twitter.com/macsween_prue/… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

Frida the Mexican Labrador retriever has rescued 52 people during natural disasters like the Oaxaca earthquake… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

the booting of brendan pearson from @MineralsCouncil is a significant turning point in our national energy debate -- thank @bhp leadership. Retweeted by Julian Burnside

Here’s the article. I like to think of it being read abroad. So, to be clear: Headbutting- not funny. 👎🏽 This artic… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

Burma army kills Rohingya, Saudis bomb Yemenis, Duterte executes, Kabila clings to power: the big tweets of the wee… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

smh.com.au/national/sames… I don't live in Mona Vale, but I haven't got the survey envelope yet

When the words "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" are being used, we need to help: unicef.org.au/appeals/help-r… Retweeted by Julian Burnside

The world needs to take the fate of the Rohingyas seriously twitter.com/kenroth/status…

Angela Merkel allowed one million refugees into Germany & will win the forthcoming election twitter.com/adele_ferguson… Retweeted by Julian Burnside


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