Julian Burnside AO QC

Julian Burnside AO QC is celebrated nationally for his work as a barrister in Australia, as well as a human rights and refugee advocate, and author. His legal practice is principally in commercial litigation, trade practices, and administrative law.

He is also well known for his strong opposition to the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and has provided legal counsel in a wide variety of high-profile cases.

In 2009, Burnside was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) “for service as a human rights advocate, particularly for refugees and asylum seekers, to the arts as a patron and fund-raiser, and to the law.” He was also awarded the City of Sydney Peace Prize.

His recent book, Watching Out: reflections on justice and injustice, will be available at the festival bookshop, and for signings by the author.

Border Politics is a new documentary that follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside as he traverses the globe examining the harsh treatment of refugees metered out by most Western democracies. Seventy years after the world constructed international conventions to ensure the horrors of World War II wouldn’t be repeated, he concludes, the current erosion of human rights poses a threat to the very democratic values that define Western society. (This film is restricted to persons aged 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult.)