'Breaking Laws and Making Laws on Indigenous Peoples: From the National to the International'
Presented by Mr Les Malezer
The 2023 Sir Kenneth Bailey Memorial Lecture
In this public lecture, Mr Malezer will draw on his extensive experience working in local, national, and international organisations on the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to consider the contemporary challenges to changing laws and doctrines regarding the status of Indigenous peoples in Australia. He will recount his personal perspectives on the way in which international processes on the rights of Indigenous peoples can supplement the national processes to enhance the goals of justice and equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Mr Les Malezer
Is descended on his father’s side from the Gubbi Gubbi/Butchulla peoples of the Mary River and Fraser Island region of southeast Queensland and, on his mother’s side, from the Gamiliroi peoples of northwest New South Wales. He has held numerous high-level positions in both the Queensland and the Commonwealth public service and worked extensively in community organisations at the local, regional, national and international levels. His roles include Secretary General of the National Aboriginal Conference and Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.
Mr Malezer is well known internationally for his work on human rights and raising the profile of Indigenous Peoples in the United Nations. He addressed the UN General Assembly in 2007 following the successful vote for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and was awarded the Australian Human Rights medal in 2008.
The Sir Kenneth Bailey Memorial Lecture
Was inaugurated in 1999, at the Commemoration of the Centenary of the 1899 Hague Peace Conference. The lecture, focusing on Australia in the international legal order, honours the Fourth Dean of the Melbourne Law School, Kenneth Hamilton Bailey, who played a significant part in Australia's contribution to the formation of the United Nations. The Melbourne Journal of International Law has co-hosted the lecture with the Melbourne Law School since 2016.