Could Australia Really Become a Police State? Free public lecture with Professor Philip Alston

Presented in conjunction with Human Rights Law Centre and Melbourne School of Government, the University of Melbourne's Law School is hosting a free public lecture by Professor Philip Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, New York University School of Law.

No non-authoritarian country in the world has moved so far and so fast to put in place a security regime of the sort that Australia has adopted in recent weeks. What can the extensive experience of the international human rights system tell us in such a situation, and what has been the experience of other countries that have traded liberties for expanded government powers on this scale?

As United Nations Special Rapporteur until 2010, Philip Alston visited over 15 countries to investigate extrajudicial executions. Most of those countries faced extraordinary security threats. He is currently one of three members of the UN Security Council’s Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in the Central African Republic.

Date: Tuesday 9 December 2014
Time: 6.00pm - 7:00pm
Venue: G08 Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Bookings are essential for this free public lecture.
Enquiries: 03 9035 1111
Register online at:

Philip Alston teaches international law, international criminal law, and a range of human rights subjects. He has degrees in law and economics from the University of Melbourne and a JSD from Berkeley. He previously taught at the European University Institute, the Australian National University, Harvard Law School, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

He was one of the founders of both the European and the Australian and New Zealand societies of international law and was editor-in-chief of the European Journal of International Law from 1996 through 2007.

In 2014, he was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as its Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. From 2004 to 2010, he was UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, undertaking official missions to Sri Lanka, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Philippines, Israel, Lebanon, Albania, Kenya, Brazil, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, and the United States.

He has also been on the Independent International Commission on Kyrgyzstan (2011) and the UN Group of Experts on Darfur (2007) and served as Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Millennium Development Goals (2002-07); chairperson (1991-98) and rapporteur (1987-91) of the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; and UNICEF’s Senior Legal Adviser on children’s rights (1986-92).