University of Sydney and the ARC project present: Gender, Race and Reparations Workshop

Event date: 
3 Apr 2009 12:30pm
Common Room, New Law Building, Building F10, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney


The Institute of Criminology, Law School, University of Sydney and the ARC Project 'Legal Responses to Systemic Injuries: Towards a new Paradigm for Compensation' present a seminar:

Gender, Race and Reparations Workshop

Over the past decades, there have been numerous inquiries and revelations in Australia about the harms suffered by children in institutional care. In 1997, the Human Rights Commission published 'Bringing Them Home', reporting on the experiences of the Stolen Generations.  While the Prime Minister delivered an apology in 2008, thus far there has been no redress or reparations process established.  In other countries, bodies such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa have sought to respond to historical harms.  Canada has established a comprehensive program to respond to the treatment of indigenous people in "Indian Residential Schools." Some Australian states (Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia) have now established (somewhat modest) redress schemes.

The purpose of this workshop is to analyse some of those programs, particularly from the point of view of their capacity to respond effectively to the most disadvantaged members of the community.   Questions to be addressed include:

*       What is the relationship between the traditional criminal and civil justice systems, and redress or reparations schemes?
*       Can the traditional criminal or civil systems take adequate account of race and gender?
*       Can the tort system ever respond effectively to historic harms?
*       Can a redress scheme ever be a 'healing package' (as one Canadian scheme has been described)?
*       What is the role of 'reconciliation'?
*       What is the role of therapeutic jurisprudence?
*       What is the role of restorative justice?
*       Is there such a thing as a feminist adjudication process?
*       Are these schemes really 'alternative' in approach?

Participants in the workshop will include:

*       Professor Anita Bernstein, Brooklyn Law School
*       Professor Chris Cunneen, UNSW Law School

*       Professor Andrea Durbach, UNSW Law School, Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre
*       Beth Goldblatt, Sydney Law School/ Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
*       Professor Reg Graycar (convenor), Sydney Law School
*       Dr Ben Mathews, QUT Law School
*       Professor Julie Stubbs, Sydney Law School
*       Jane Wangmann, Sydney Law School/UTS Law School

 For directions to the New Law Building please check the University of Sydney website: