Sites of Justice and Injustice

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This lecture, which will be delivered by Associate Professor Jennifer Balint, will examine a range of sites of articulations of injustice and the seeking of justice, from the British High Court of Justice that heard claims of abuse by former members of the Mau Mau under the colonial state in Kenya, the ACT Supreme Court that was used to hear claims of genocide by the Aboriginal Embassy, La Mama Theatre and other locations of the reactivation of the 1881 Coranderrk Parliamentary Inquiry as contemporary verbatim theatre, and a walking tour of the city of Yogyakarta led by former political prisoners, for Indonesian and Australian students.

It will consider how justice claims move between different sites, and both are constituted by and challenge these as sites of injustice. It asks what this seeking out of justice and injustice looks like from the vantage of the university. Reactivating claims, in multiple spaces, can create new sites of public engagement and means of redress. Paying attention to how claims are made, collaboratively – the lived testimonies that they contain- must be where we start, in order to identify and make visible the structural harms necessary of redress.

Jennifer Balint is Associate Professor in Socio-Legal Studies. She came to the University of Melbourne in 2002 to establish the Socio-Legal Studies program in Criminology and is currently Head of Discipline, Criminology. Her research expertise is in the area of state crime, genocide and access to justice, with a focus on the constitutive function of law in societies and transitional justice. She co-established the Minutes of Evidence project, a collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, education experts, performance artists, community members, government and community organisations that aims to spark public conversations about structural justice and how understanding the relationship between the colonial past and the present can bring about just futures.

Jennifer has been a visiting fellow at International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London, the Collegium Budapest Institute for Advanced Study, a research fellow at the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University, Chicago, a visiting scholar at the Centre for International and Public Law at the Australian National University and an invited scholar to the University of Leuven. She has participated in the United Nations Preparatory Commission meetings for the formation of the International Criminal Court in New York, and was the representative for Oceania for the establishment of the International Criminal Bar. She has consulted the Department of Justice on matters relating to access to justice, and has sat on the Management Committee of Fitzroy Legal Service. She is Book Review Editor for Law & Society Review.