Julian Burnside QC is a barrister based in Melbourne. He acted against BHP in the Ok Tedi case, for Alan Bond in fraud trials, against Gina Rinehart on behalf of Rose Porteous, and for the Maritime Union of Australia in the 1998 waterfront dispute against Patrick Stevedores. He was Senior Counsel assisting the Australian Broadcasting Authority in the ‘Cash for Comment’ inquiry, and for Liberty Victoria in the Tampa litigation. He is President of Liberty Victoria, and has acted pro bono in many human rights cases, in particular concerning the treatment of refugees. In 2004 he was elected as a Living National Treasure and named as an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2008.
“…ideas which stand unchallenged are likely to be flawed. It is in the contest of ideas that we have the best prospect of reaching something like sound policy. With the birth of the Centre for Policy Development, the conversation can begin.“
For his contributions to human rights advocacy and defence of the rule of law, he was awarded the 2014 Sydney Peace Prize.