New Paths to Community Safety: Punishment Policy and the Courts

Free Public Lecture

New Paths to Community Safety: Punishment Policy and the Courts

Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre
Arts West


More information

T: 83442543

The 2019 John Barry Memorial Lecture in Criminology

It is 50 years since the publication of Sir John Barry’s lectures entitled 'The courts and criminal punishments'. Unlike anything ever written by a serving Australian judge, the lectures explore fundamental issues of penal philosophy and practice. In 2019, the lectures remain as pertinent as ever. They raise a series of challenging questions which the Hon Justice Christopher Maxwell will address – about our approach to punishment, about the role of courts as instruments of incarceration and about the contribution of criminologists to penal policy-making.

As our community confronts a crisis of incarceration, we need to ask ourselves whether this is the kind of society we want. Should we continue to divert vast sums of public money into building prisons when imprisonment demonstrably fails to reduce rates of recidivism? What part can sentencing courts play in exploring non-custodial alternatives? Can criminologists find their public voice, to inform public debate and provide new ideas for policymakers? Could courts and criminologists combine forces to mark out a new path to community safety, through tackling the causes of crime: disadvantage, addiction and mental illness?

About the John Barry Memorial Lecture

The Honourable Sir John Vincent William Barry, Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria from 1947, and Foundation Chairman of The Board of Studies in Criminology at the University of Melbourne from 1951, was a distinguished graduate of this University. Sir John did much to stimulate the growth of the study of Criminology, not only at this University, but also throughout Australia and abroad. Each year, the John Barry Memorial Lecture seeks to inform and educate on topics of criminological significance, continuing Sir John’s commitment to criminological research.


  • Justice Christopher Maxwell
    Justice Christopher Maxwell, President of the Court of Appeal