Banksia Association Lecture seeks justice

September 3, 2013

The Hon Antoinette Kennedy AO.

Everyone is welcome to attend the 2013 Banksia Association Lecture, to be given by Western Australia’s first female judge, the Hon Antoinette Kennedy AO, on Thursday, October 3.

The talk, entitled ‘A trial, a fair sentence’, will take place at 6pm in the Kim E Beazley Lecture Theatre on Murdoch University’s South Street Campus.

Ms Kennedy has described her talk as such:

John Mortimer’s character, Rumpole of the Bailey famously said ‘What some people would like is to repeal Magna Carta, suspend habeas corpus, abolish trial by jury, reverse the onus of proof and replace the whole thing with a summary trial in front of the station sergeant’.

The first part of the lecture will address the reasons why each of these elements is a part of our legal system, and the importance of protecting them. The community must understand that it has more to fear from tyranny than from disorder.

The second part will discuss whether the community asks too much of the Criminal Justice System, exploring it as an instrument controlling human behaviour, and questioning whether it is time to look at Justice Reinvested.

As well as being WA’s first female judge, Ms Kennedy served as Chief Justice to the District Court of WA – again as the first woman in WA to head a jurisdiction and only the third woman in Australia’s history to serve in such a role.

She is also a former member of the Murdoch University Senate.

Ms Kennedy is a strong advocate for social justice and gender equality and was formally recognised for her services to law, the judiciary and the wider community in 2011 when she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.

The Banksia Association is composed of individuals who have made an impact on Murdoch University during its 38 year history. Members include past external members of the University Senate, individuals who have been awarded Honorary Degrees, Emeritus Professors and others.

Each year the Association invites a member of national or international standing to deliver the Banksia Association Lecture on a topic of interest.

To attend, RSVP is essential by Friday, September 27 to Heather Stoddart at

Update: to hear Ms Kennedy's talk, go here.

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