Asylum Seeker Advocate Wins Sydney Peace Prize
6 November 2014 at 10:09 am
Australian barrister, human rights advocate and author,Julian Burnside AO QC has been awarded the 2014 Sydney Peace Prize for his work with asylum seekers.
The Sydney Peace Prize Jury’s citation reads: “For his brave and principled advocacy for human rights and for those wronged by government, for insisting that we respect our international legal obligations toward those seeking asylum, and for his unflinching defence of the rule of law as a means to achieve a more peaceful and just society.”
The Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Jane Singleton said at the awards ceremony that Julian Burnside is a splendid choice.
“All nominations were remarkable people doing extraordinary things in a myriad of ways, but the Jury chose Julian Burnside for his unflinching advocacy and commitment,” Singleton said.
Burnside responded saying he was “ deeply honoured to be selected to receive this year’s prize, especially in a year when Australia’s reputation is being tarnished by its intentionally harsh treatment of asylum seekers”.
“I have long admired the work of the Sydney Peace Foundation. It continues to advocate for human rights and promote peace.
“It helps keeps our focus on the importance of the rule of law, the need to treat all human beings with compassion and the need to ensure that human rights are respected,” Burnside said..
“Australia is currently marooned at a moral and legal crossroads over policies towards asylum seekers and refugees,” the founder of the Foundation, former Director, Chair and current Vice Chair, Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees AM said of the award.
“Julian Burnside’s decades long advocacy of the of the human rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable people makes him an extremely worthy recipient.”
The Not for Profit Sydney Peace Foundation is a University of Sydney foundation which promotes peace with justice and the practice of non-violence .
Since its foundation in 1998, the Sydney Peace Foundation (SPF) has encouraged people in Australia and abroad to think about the meaning of peace, justice and alternatives to violence.