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The clinical execution of Osama Bin Laden in his redoubt in Pakistan has reminded us again of the many public policy issues related to terrorism. It was also in Abbottobad that the Bali bomber, Umar Patek, was arrested in January. It is now suggested he was on his way to see Bin Laden. Was he tortured, and did his interrogation lead the Americans to their quarry?

Is torture of any kind, including waterboarding, acceptable conduct by those who job it is to track down terrorists? How long is it reasonable to detain and interrogate suspected terrorists before bringing them to trial?  And is anti-terrorism part of a military campaign or an international law-enforcement effort? And, finally, what is the definition of a terrorist, and what does international law say about him or her?

Over the last two decades, and particularly since 9/11, terrorism has come to the fore as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. 

The Australian Institute of International Affairs and the NSW Young Lawyers International Law Committee jointly invite you to discuss this important issue with three authorities:

Adjunct Professor Clive Williams MG, Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism,MacquarieUniversity. Clive Williams has a career background as an officer in the Australian Intelligence Corps, which included a number of overseas intelligence appointments. After leaving the Army in 1981, he pursued a civilian career in Defence Intelligence, working mainly on transnational issues. He was a Chevening scholar at the War Studies Department, King’s College,London, in 1987. He has worked and lectured internationally on terrorism-related issues since 1980, and started running terrorism courses at the ANU in 1996. He left Defence in 2002, and has since run terrorism and national security-related Masters course electives at the ANU and a number of Australian and overseas universities. He became an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Policing, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism (PICT) atMacquarieUniversity in 2006. He also became a Visiting Professor at theSchool ofHuman and Social Sciences (HASS) of theUniversity ofNSW at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in 2006. He is a member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO), and an Associate of the International Academy of Investigative Psychology (AIAIP).

Dr Christopher Michaelsen is a Senior Research Fellow at the UNSW Law Faculty. He teaches and specialises in public international law, human rights and international security. Prior to joining UNSW, he served as a Human Rights Officer (Anti-Terrorism) at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Warsaw, Poland. He has previously worked for the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs in New York City, and at the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University in Canberra. He has served as a consultant for the Asian Law Group in Semarang, Indonesia, and for the Center for Global Counter-Terrorism Cooperation in New York City. Chris is a member of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and a member of the Australian Human Rights Centre.

Dr James Renwick is a Barrister practising at the Sydney Bar. He is a former Fulbright Scholar. Prior to coming to the NSW Bar he was a solicitor in bothprivate and government practice, with a particular emphasis on public law. Some notable terrorism related matters include: representingAustralia at the trial of David Hicks atGuantanamo Bay,Cuba in late 2004, and appearing for the Police and ASIO in a number of terrorism prosecutions. He pioneered the teaching of national security law in Australia, gave one of the keynote addresses on that topic to the Judicial Conference of Australia in 2005 and, in January 2008, devised, organised and spoke at a major conference on the conduct of terrorism trials, held in Washington DC, and undertook the same roles in 2010 in a conference on Jihadi recruitment. He is an Associate of the Sydney Centre for International Law, which is part of the faculty of Law within theUniversity ofSydney.

Robin Bowley (Seminar Moderator) is a former officer in the Royal Australian Navy and graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Australian Naval College. He is currently working as a solicitor for an Australian government regulatory authority and completing a PhD at theUniversity of Wollongong on maritime terrorism and international law. Formerly a council member of the AIIA; Robin is the current Stream Administrator for International Maritime and Aviation Law with the NSW Young Lawyers International Law Committee.

Date: Monday May 16, 2011

Time: Refreshments 6:00 pm; Presentation 6:30 pm – 7.30pm

Venue: The Glover Cottages, 124 Kent Street, Sydney (located adjacent to the Kent St Fire Station)

Cost: AIIA/YL members $15; Senior members / students $10; Visitors $20; Senior Visitors $15


2. Telephone acceptance to (02) 9247 8504 (if unattended leave a voicemail message)

3. Payment may be made at the door by cash/cheque/credit card


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THE RED TELEPHONE is the newsblog and discussion forum of the International Law Committee of NSW Young Lawyers, a division of the Law Society of New South Wales.

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