AIIA Annual Dinner 2017 - Human Rights v Peace and Security: The challenge of North Korea

15 August 2017 6:30 pm

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Brisbane City Hall

AIIA Annual Dinner 2017 - Human Rights v Peace and Security: The challenge of North Korea



Australian Institute of International Affairs

Annual Dinner 2017 - Human Rights v Peace and Security: The challenge of North Korea

Presented by The Hon Michael Kirby AC, CMG, FAIIA


About the Event

The Annual Dinner 2017 is AIIA Queensland's premier event for the year. The evening features an address by the Hon Michael Kirby, one of Australia's most distinguished jurists. We are proud to be holding the dinner in the Ithica Room at the historic Brisbane City Hall on Tuesday, August 15, at 6.30pm with commencing at 7pm. Guests will enjoy pre-event drinks and a two-course meal. There will be an extended Q & A session with ample opportunity to ask questions. Book early because we anticipate tickets will sell fast.

How to buy tickets

Our preferred method is for you to buy tickets through the AIIA website using your credit card. AIIA has multiple ticketing so you can also buy tickets for friends and family members. Remember to fill in their names on the registration form. A member can buy additional tickets at the members rate of $100. Non-members can buy additional tickets at the non-members rate of $110.

If you are buying a Table of 10, only buy one ticket. Please send the names of other attendees by email to


If you wish to sit with another attendee, please send an email to

If you have dietary requirements, enter these while registering


About the topic

The Hon Michael Kirby, a past Justice of the High Court of Australia and Honorary Fellow of the AIIA , chaired the commission of inquiry established by the UN Human Rights Council (2013-14) on human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic Korea (North Korea). The commission found strong evidence of many violations, some of them rising to the level of crimes against humanity. It recommended referral to a prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. This would require a resolution of the UN Security Council which has not so far occurred. Apologists for this inaction point to the grave situation presented by DPRK's acquisition of 20 nuclear warheads and missiles of increasing capacity and sophistication. This presents the topic for this lecture: Given that the world in 1945 undertook always to respond to crimes against humanity, how can this promise be delivered in the actualities of a world endangered by nuclear proliferation and risks? The topic is considered in the context of North Korea. But potentially it arises in any future country that acquires nuclear capabilities. This is therefore a moment of decision for humanity.

About the Speaker

Michael Kirby is an international jurist, educator and former judge. He served as a Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (1975-83); Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission (1975-84); Judge of the Federal Court of Australia (1983-4); President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (1984-96); President of the Court of Appeal of Solomon Islands (1995-96) and Justice of the High Court of Australia (1996-2009).

He has undertaken many international activities for the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the OECD and the Global Fund Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He has also worked in civil society, being elected President of the International Commission of Jurists (1995-8). His recent international activities have included member of the Eminent Persons Group on the Future of the Commonwealth of Nations (2010-11); Commissioner of the UNDP Global Commission on HIV and the Law (2011-12); Chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry on DPRK (North Korea) (2013-14); and Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Access to Essential Healthcare (2015-16). He is also heavily engaged in international arbitrations; domestic mediations; and teaching law. He is Honorary Professor at 12 Australian and overseas universities.

In 1990 he was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal. In 1998, he was named Laurette of the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education. In 2010 he was named co-winner of the Gruber Justice Prize. In 2011 he received the inaugural Australian Privacy Medal. The honorary degrees of Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Laws and Doctor of the University have been conferred on him by universities in Australia and overseas. He lives in Sydney with his partner since 1969, Johan van Vloten.

David Costello
0403 777 541