Launch of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness
Theatre G08, Ground Floor
Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
The Melbourne Law School’s Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness has been established with the objective of undertaking research, teaching and engagement activities aimed at reducing statelessness and protecting the rights of stateless people in Australia, the Asia Pacific region, and as appropriate more broadly. The Centre on Statelessness will fill a critical gap in academic research and engagement on the issue of statelessness and is currently the only university resident and supported institute of its type.
At this launch event, leading experts on statelessness will discuss the scale and scope of the global challenge of statelessness, the impact of statelessness, the role of the United Nations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in addressing the challenge, and the role of academic research in contributing to the eradication of statelessness.
Professor Michelle Foster, Director of the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness
Dr Fernand de Varennes RP, Doyen, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues
Ms Erika Feller, Professorial Fellow, Melbourne School of Government, and former Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, UNHCR
Professor Kim Rubenstein, Australian National University
Professor Kim Rubenstein, Professor, Law School
Professor Kim Rubenstein
Professor, Law School
Australian National University
Kim Rubenstein is Australia’s leading expert on citizenship matters and author of Australian Citizenship Law (2nd,ed) 2017. She is a Professor in the Law School at the Australian National University and was the Director of its Centre for International and Public law from 20062015. In 2017 she ran a pro bono matter in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal with her students on behalf of a child born in Australia, leading to a successful claim for Australian citizenship under the statelessness provisions of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007. She is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and Harvard Law School.
Ms Erika Feller, Professsorial Fellow
Ms Erika Feller
Melbourne School of Government
Erika Feller is a Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne School of Government, having previously held the position of ViceChancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne from 20142017. Erika’s experience with the statelessness portfolio spans many years at very high levels of seniority in the UNHCR, the agency in the UN system with the mandate to protect and assist stateless persons. In her capacity as Director of the Division of International Protection and then during her 7 years as UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection she was regularly involved in activities on behalf of stateless people, ranging from training, capacity building and advocacy through to direct interventions to improve the circumstances of affected individuals and groups.
Dr Fernand de Varennes RP, Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues
Dr Fernand de Varennes RP
Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues
Fernand de Varennes is Dean of the Faculté de droit at the Université de Moncton in Canada and Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues by the UN Human Rights Council and assumed his functions on 1 August 2017. His work and commitment focuses on the human rights of minorities, ethnic conflict, the rights of migrants, the relationship between ethnicity, human rights and democracies, federalism and other forms of autonomy arrangements. Professor in Murdoch University (Australia) for more than 20 years and guest professor at a number of academic institutions in Africa, Asia and Europe. He has contributed to the work of international and regional bodies, including the UN human rights mechanisms, the European Parliament and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.
Professor Michelle Foster, Director of Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness
Professor Michelle Foster
Director of Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness
Melbourne Law School
Dr Michelle Foster is a Professor at Melbourne Law School. Michelle is also Director of the International Refugee Law Research Programme in the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of public law, international refugee law, and international human rights law. Michelle has LLM and SJD degrees from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a Michigan Grotius Fellow. She also holds an LLB and BComm (Hons 1 and the University Medal) from the University of New South Wales. Prior to her graduate studies she worked for the Commonwealth AttorneyGeneral's Department, as Research Director for the Hon AM Gleeson AC (then Chief Justice of NSW) and Legal Research Officer in the Chambers of the NSW SolicitorGeneral and Crown Advocate. Michelle has published widely in the field of international refugee law, and her work has been cited extensively in the international refugee law literature and also in judicial decisions in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Her first book, International Refugee Law and SocioEconomic Rights: Refuge from Deprivation, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007, and has been widely and favourably reviewed. Michelle is coauthor, with James Hathaway, of The Law of Refugee Status, Second Edition, published by CUP in 2014. Since joining Melbourne Law School in 2005, Michelle has developed a new curriculum in Refugee Law in both the LLB and JD degrees. She has conducted training workshops for the New Zealand Refugee Status Appeals Authority and the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal, and has been engaged as a consultant by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Michelle is an Advisory Board Member of the Melbourne Journal of International Law, an Associate Member of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges and a Board member of AMES (http://www.ames.net.au/).