Justice, law, violence and redress


Justice, law, violence and redress

Macmahon Ball Theatre
Old Arts Building


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T: +613 8344 0472


With the support of the Barry family, the Criminology discipline within the School of Social and Political Sciences presents the 2018 John Barry Memorial Symposium on Tuesday 30 October 2018.


Matthew Mitchell, PhD Candidate in Criminology, University of Melbourne

"Judging Gender, Queering Justice: The Legal Regulation of Gender-affirming Hormones for Young People"

Between 2004-2017, the Family Court of Australia regulated minors’ access to gender-affirming hormones. These cases raise the question, under what conditions should law allow gender to be done differently? In the first half of this presentation, Matthew will critique how the Court judged which claims to be gendered and which desires to become gendered differently it would recognise as valid, showing how these judgments wielded a discourse of truth that, grounded in gender normativity, pathologised and punished difference. In the second half, Matthew will discuss what is needed for a more just encounter between law and gender difference.

Rashaam Chowdhury, PhD Candidate in Criminology, University of Melbourne

"The Uses and Abuses of Legal Institutions: Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal, Victims and Politics"

In 2010, thirty-nine years after Bangladesh’s independence, the International Crimes Tribunal was created to try war crimes, genocide, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 war. With formulaic aims of ensuring accountability, ending impunity and providing justice, the Tribunal has come to occupy a central space in the Bangladeshi psyche. In this paper Rashaam utilises interview data and documentary analysis to explore public engagement with the Tribunal. In doing so she demonstrates how this domestic institution of law is utilised by different groups resulting in a site for victim empowerment, contested victimhood, political protest and a tool for various forms of government propaganda.

Tom Newman-Morris, PhD Candidate in Criminology, University of Melbourne

"Galarrwuy just looked at me for a moment"

In this paper, Tom considers the knowability – as opposed to the unknowability - of historical violence between different groups as a problem for reconciliation. He argues that a desire for conflict transformation premised upon appropriate accountability and restitution also implies a requirement to adequately know what is irreducibly complex. The fulfilment of this requirement to know, which can be experienced as intrusive to the point of re-traumatising, can inhibit rather than progress reconciliation. To illustrate this difficulty, Tom examines the expectations and frustrations of knowability as they have manifested in Indigenous-Settler reconciliation discourse in Australia.

In addition to this event, the 2018 John Barry Memorial Lecture will take place from 6.30pm-7.30pm. For more information, visit http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/barry2018