ACT Events

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    Secret Trials: The illegal bugging of the Timor Leste Cabinet and the extraordinary prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K

    Date Tue, 27 Aug 2019
    Time 18:00 – 19:00
    Location AIIA ACT Branch

    It has been widely reported that in the course of bilateral negotiations with Timor-Leste over oil and gas revenues in the area often referred to as the 'Timor Gap', an Australian intelligence agency bugged the Timor-Leste cabinet office to ascertain Timor-Leste's negotiating position. Later another Australian intelligence agency raided the offices of the solicitor acting for Timor-Leste, Bernard Collaery, and seized confidential legal advice to Timor Leste. Australia had previously withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in relation to maritime boundary disputes. Australia also sought to block arbitration proceedings instituted by Timor-Leste. Now the Commonwealth is prosecuting Mr Collaery and witness K for disclosure of apparently illegal conduct. There is every indication that the Commonwealth is seeking to have the trial proceed in secret. Australians reading about secret trials in foreign countries tend to content themselves in the belief that in Australia we have an open court system and an independent judiciary. In this talk Ernst Willheim will challenge that comfortable assumption. He will discuss Australia’s departure from a rules based order, the importance of openness in judicial proceedings and the importance of the constitutional principle of freedom of political communication in relation to disclosure of wrongful conduct by public authorities.

    Speaker: Ernst Willheim is a Visiting Fellow in the College of Law at the Australian National University. Before his retirement he was a senior officer in the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department where he headed several policy divisions, established the Office of General Counsel and was its first head, led numerous Australian delegations to international conferences and...

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    AIIA ACT Branch AGM and Presentation by Ambassador of the Republic of Korea HE Mr Baeksoon Lee

    Date Wed, 11 Sep 2019
    Time 12:30 – 14:00
    Location AIIA (ACT Branch)

    The 2019 AIIA ACT Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 12:30pm on Wednesday 11 September at the AIIA Conference Centre, Stephen House, 32 Thesiger Court, Deakin, ACT. Nomination and proxy forms are available on-line. Nominations have to be received by the Public Officer seven days before the AGM using the form provided. Proxies have to be received 24 hours before the scheduled start of the meeting. In the absence of a Secretary proxies should be addressed to the President. 

    All relevant AGM forms can be found at this link

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    New-ish Government Faces Old Problems: An Update on Thai Politics

    Date Thu, 19 Sep 2019
    Time 18:00 – 19:00
    Location AIIA (ACT Branch)

    A presentation by James Wise, former Australian Ambassador to Thailand and author of Thailand: History, Politics and the Rule of Law, fresh from a five-week visit to Bangkok. 

    Since July, Thailand has had a new - or reconditioned - government. The government was formed after an election in March which has been called "partly free, and not fair." Despite these reservations, the election has led to the end of direct military rule. Thailand now has a semi-democratic system. There is more public debate...

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