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Vince Warren

Vince Warren is a leading expert on racial injustice and discriminatory policing and is the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He oversees the organization’s groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work, using international and domestic law to challenge human rights abuses, including racial, gender and LGBTQIA injustice. Under his leadership, the Center for Constitutional Rights successfully challenged the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy and profiling of Muslims, ended long-term solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay Prison, and established the persecution of LGBTQIA people as a crime against humanity.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is currently challenging the abuse of migrants at the U.S. Southern Border, the Muslim Ban, the torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, and the criminalisation of transgender people, as well as providing legal and policy support to Black, Brown, and Native organizers across the country.

Professor Megan Davis

Professor Megan Davis is Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law at UNSW. She is Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court and was recently appointed the Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law. She was a member of the Referendum Council and the Experts Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples in the Constitution; was an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2011-2016); and is currently a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous peoples.

Professor Davis is also a Commissioner on the Australian Rugby League Commission and, like any good Queenslander, she supports the North Queensland Cowboys and the Queensland Maroons.

Debbie Kilroy

Debbie Kilroy is a settler on Unceded Lands. She was first imprisoned at age 13, and spent the subsequent 20 years moving in and out of women and children’s prisons in Queensland, Australia. After her final release from prison in 1992, she established Sisters Inside, which advocates for the human rights of women and girls affected by the criminal legal system. In 2007, Debbie was the first person in Australia with serious convictions to be admitted to practice law by the Supreme Court of Queensland.

She is also a qualified social worker, gestalt therapist and forensic mental health practitioner. Debbie continues to lead Sisters Inside as CEO and is Principal of Kilroy & Callaghan Lawyers. (Contact her at deb@sistersinside.com.au)

Jennifer Robinson

Jennifer Robinson is an international philanthropist and Australian human rights lawyer at Doughty Street Chambers in London, specialising in human rights, media, public, and international law. She has appeared before the International Court of Justice, has given expert evidence at the UN and regularly engages with UN Special Mechanisms. Many of her cases and clients are high-profile and involve novel cross-jurisdictional and comparative law issues.

Jen has a particular focus on free speech and civil liberties, advising media organisations, journalists, and whistle-blowers and issues associated with journalist safety, unlawful detention, and targeting. She is best known for her work as a legal advisor to Julian Assange and Wikileaks for almost a decade, placing her at the centre of one of the most important and controversial legal cases of the century.

Jen was also the legal advisor for the New York Times during its investigation of the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal. She has worked with activists and political prisoners from Syria to West Papua for more than a decade and conducted international human rights missions for the International Bar Association.

Marbre Stahly-Butts

Marbre Stahly-Butts is the Executive Director of Law for Black Lives, a movement lawyering organisation in the US that works closely with organisers and communities to advance and actualise radical policy. She currently serves on the Leadership Team of the Movement For Black Lives Policy Table and helped develop the Vision for Black Lives Policy Platform. After graduating from Yale Law School, Marbre joined the Center for Popular Democracy as a Soros Justice Fellow in Fall 2013.

Before law school, Marbre received her Masters in African Studies from Oxford University and worked in Zimbabwe organising communities impacted by violence and then in South Africa teaching at Nelson Mandela’s alma mater. Marbre graduated from Columbia University, with a BA in African-American History and Human Rights.

Tabitha Lean (Budhin Mingaan)

Tabitha (or as her ancestors know her, Budhin Mingaan) is a Gunditjmara woman, born and raised on Kaurna yerta. Having spent almost two years in Adelaide Women’s Prison and a total of 18 months on Home Detention, before and after the jail experience, she argues that the criminal punishments system is a brutal and often deadly colonial frontier for her people and is now committed to working towards total abolition of the prison industrial complex. She believes that until we abolish the system and redefine community, health, safety and justice; her people will not be safe.

Links to her writing can be found at:

Noura Erakat

Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University, and non-resident fellow of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School. Noura is the author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019), which received the Palestine Book Award and the Bronze Medal for the Independent Publishers Book Award in Current Events/Foreign Affairs. She is co-founding editor of Jadaliyya and editorial board member of the Journal of Palestine Studies. She has served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the US House of Representatives, as Legal Advocate for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights, and as national organizer of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Noura has also produced video documentaries, including “Gaza In Context” and “Black Palestinian Solidarity.” She has appeared on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, among others.

Alejandra Ancheita

Alejandra Ancheita, founder and Executive Director of the Mexico City-based NGO ProDESC (The Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project), is a Mexican lawyer and activist, leader of the human rights movement for migrants, workers, and indigenous communities of her native country. Since founding ProDESC in 2005, Alejandra Ancheita and her dedicated team have run strategic campaigns aimed at protecting the economic, social, and cultural rights of Mexico’s most marginalised people. ProDESC’s work is guided by her innovative vision of an integrated approach, which combines community education and organising, corporate research, human rights litigation, and policy advocacy; thereby bringing about real structural change. Among her most notable accomplishments at ProDESC, she achieved unprecedented results to establish accountability mechanisms for transnational corporations in Mexico.

Alejandra is the 2014 Laureate of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, the highest acknowledgment from the international human rights community. The same year, she also received the Omecíhuatl medal from the Women’s Institute in Mexico City in recognition of her important contributions to women human rights. In 2015, the Mexican Senate acknowledged Alejandra’s prominent work in defense of workers, migrants, indigenous and agrarian communities. More recently, in 2019, she was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Université Paris Nanterre, becoming the first Mexican woman to be honored with this distinction.

Rawan Arraf

Rawan Arraf is founder and executive director of the Australian Centre for International Justice. She has over ten years of legal experience in refugee protection, administrative law and international human rights law. Rawan is actively engaged with lawyers and organisations working on justice for Palestine, global justice, and universal jurisdiction litigation and in 2018 trained with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. Rawan is an arts and law graduate of the University of Sydney and is completing a Master of Laws from the University of New South Wales. She is a fellow of the Centre for Australian Progress.

Sophie McNeill

Sophie McNeill is the Australia researcher for Human Rights Watch, based in Western Australia. She was formerly an investigative reporter with ABC TV’s Four Corners program where she produced programs on the Hong Kong protest movement and the mass arbitrary detention of Xinjiang’s Muslims by the Chinese government. Sophie was also a foreign correspondent for the ABC and SBS in the Middle East, working across the region in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Turkey, as well as Israel/Palestine. Sophie has twice been awarded Australian Young TV Journalist of the Year and in 2010 won a Walkley Award for her investigation into the killing of five children in Afghanistan by Australian Special Forces soldiers. She was also nominated for a Walkley in 2015 for her coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2016 she won two more Walkleys for her coverage of Yemen and besieged towns in Syria. Previously, she worked as a reporter for ABC’s Foreign Correspondent and SBS’s Dateline programs and she is a former host of triple j’s news and current affairs program Hack. She is the author of “We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know: Dispatches from an Age of Impunity.”

Rodney Croome

Rodney Croome is an Australian LGBTQIA+ rights advocate. Rodney led the successful campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania, was a founder and national director of Australian Marriage Equality, and currently serves as the spokesperson for the LGBTIQA+ equality advocacy groups Just Equal and Equality Tasmania. Rodney was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003, was Tasmanian Australian of the Year in 2015 and was made an honorary doctor of letters by the University of Tasmania in 2019. Rodney has worked closely with lawyers and legal academics on many judicial and semi-judicial cases in regard to decriminalisation, marriage equality, workplace discrimination, hate speech, next-of-kin rights and blood donation.

Liv Metter

Liv has been involved in the youth climate justice movement for the past 10+ years and is passionate about creating a more just and sustainable world. She works in fundraising to help resource ENGOs to have the biggest impact possible. She is currently an ally Fundraising Director at the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, and prior to this was Fundraising Director at the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Liv is Co-Founder of the Fundraisers Idea Exchange, and Board Member and Fundraising Subcommittee Member at Climate for Change.

Rachel English

Rachel English has worked on many sides of the social sector, fundraising, service delivery and granting. She is currently a philanthropic advisor at Mutual Trust, assisting families with their giving and strategies. Rachel is also a Director of the English Family Foundation, which focuses on driving transformational change through partnerships with early-stage social enterprises. Making philanthropy more accessible and appealing is core to all of Rachel’s work. She served as co-Chair of NEXUS Australia from 2017 – 2021, a global network uniting young investors, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists to accelerate change. She is a committee member for the Australian International Development Network (AIDN) to encourage more international development. She has recently joined the Inner North Community Foundation Board, striving for a prosperous, connected, cohesive community in Melbourne’s Inner North.

Inaugural Conference – September 2021

The conference will be held online on 24 and 25 September 2021 due to COVID-19 and associated travel restrictions.