2017 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture

1 November 2017


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2017 Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture:

15 years after-Terrorist laws and civil liberties: Is the balance right or wrong?


Speaker:   Terry O'Gorman


About the Lecture
Following the recent announcement of the Federal Government's decision to create an Australian version of the British Home Office and so create a superministry dealing with terrorism, it is timely to examine the balance between national security powers and civil liberties since 9/11 in 2001.

The additional recent announcements that ADF Special Forces will be given a role in domestic terrorist policing as well as the Federal Government's announcement to force tech giants to decrypt messages and hand them over to law enforcement agencies further raise the vexed issue of maintaining a proper balance between police and Intelligence services powers on one hand while maintaining civil liberties on the other.

Since Australia is set to copy the British Home Office structure in relation to the policing of terrorism, the contrasting stances of British Prime Minister Theresa May and Sir Keir Starmer will be the focus of the presentation.


About the Speaker

Terry O'Gorman's public role in the Queensland and Australian Councils for Civil Liberties is well known. He has been practising solely as a criminal defence lawyer since 1976 and is an Accredited Criminal law Specialist in Queensland. Terry was named one of Queensland's pre-eminent criminal lawyers on Doyle's Leading Lawyers List in 2015 and 2016.


Terry was awarded the Order of Australia in a General Division in 1991 for services to the legal profession. He is currently the President of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties and Vice President of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties.

Previous speakers include:
2016  - Stephen Odgers SC 

2015 - The Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC

2014 - The Hon. J D Heydon AC QC

2013 - The Hon. M Gleeson AC QC


About Paul Byrne SC
This is the sixth Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture honouring Paul Byrne SC, who had a life long interest in criminal law and the criminal justice system, as well being an active participant and generous supporter of the Institute of Criminology at the Sydney Law School. Paul Byrne SC graduated in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney, and worked with the Public Solicitor's Office as a solicitor. He became a barrister in 1979, and was appointed a public defender. In 1983 he was awarded a Master of Laws degree with First Class Honours, and was awarded a University Medal. He was appointed Director of the Criminal Law Review Division and a Commissioner of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission. In 1995 he took silk and continued an outstanding career as an advocate in courts at all levels.

The Paul Byrne Memorial Fund

The Paul Byrne Memorial Fund has been set up to honour and continue Paul's interest in the criminal justice system by supporting the ongoing activities of the Institute of Criminology, such as lectures, seminars, publications, and awards. Attendees of the Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture are warmly invited to make a donation to The Paul Byrne SC Memorial Fund. Gifts to The Paul Byrne SC Memorial Fund support the activities of the Institute of Criminology and other activities in the field of criminal law at Sydney Law School, in memory of the late Paul Byrne SC.


CPD Points: 1.5


This event is proudly hosted by the Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney, highlighting the Institute's support of critical criminal justice research, practice, policy and debate.

Time: 6.00-7.30pm (registration from 5.45pm, cocktail reception at 7.30pm)

Location: Sydney Law School, Law Foyer, level 2, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, Camperdown

Cost: Complimentary, however registration is essential

Contact: Professional Learning & Community Engagement

Phone: 02 9351 0429

Email: 340016662f3b2d373f452d3014342a3f2b782e15301a3b30