Is Democracy Decaying Worldwide? And What Can We Do About It?
Free Public Lecture
Forum Theatre, Level 1
Professor's Walk, University of Melbourne
Launch of the Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC)
Are you concerned about threats to democracy in states worldwide including the US, France, Poland, India, Japan or Brazil or the emergence of dictatorship in states such as Venezuela? Do you want to know how Australia fits in this global picture?
Join us for a panel discussing the challenge posed by the global deterioration of democratic rule.
This event marks the launch of a new online tool developed by Dr Tom Daly to help researchers and policymakers understand and address this threat: the Democratic Decay Resource (DEM-DEC).
Professor Pip Nicholson, Dean
Professor Pip Nicholson
Melbourne Law School
Professor Pip Nicholson is Dean of Melbourne Law School. Pip has previously served as Director of the Asian Law Centre while also directing its Vietnam Program. Pip has also served as the Law School's Associate Dean (International) and Associate Dean for the Juris Doctor (JD). Between 2015 and 2017 Pip served as VicePresident and Deputy VicePresident of the University of Melbourne's Academic Board. Pip is one of the world's leading scholars on the Vietnamese legal system. Her research has focussed on the rule of law, criminal justice and dispute resolution in socialist transforming states. Pip’s current research projects concentrate on Vietnamese law and legal change, particularly impacting the Constitution, courts, Vietnamese conceptions of law and legal institutions, the profession and the death penalty. Her most recent collaboration analyses the Socialist legacy in Vietnam and China. In 2014, Professor Nicholson won the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice’s ‘Medal for the Cause of Justice’ as a result of her contribution to legal reform and training in Vietnam. Pip’s recent publications include Drugs Law and Legal Practice in Southeast Asia, (copublished with Tim Lindsey) (Hart Publishing, 2016), Law and Development and the Global Discourses of Legal Transfers (co edited with John Gillespie) (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and Socialist Law in Socialist East Asia (co edited with Fu Hualing, John Gillespie and William Partlett) (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Pip has degrees in Arts, Law and Public Policy from the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University. Pip has previously been admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia.
Dr Tom Gerald Daly, MLS Fellow
Dr Tom Gerald Daly
University of Melbourne
Tom is an academic and consultant in the area of democracybuilding, public law, and human rights, and is on a mission to bring democracy defenders together and to help them in their work. He designed the Democratic Decay Resource (DEMDEC), which had a ‘virtual launch’ in June 2018, to provide an information hub and platform for collaboration or democracy defenders. He is Associate Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (ECCL), MLS Fellow at Melbourne Law School, and CoConvenor of the Constitution Transformation Network (Melbourne Law School). As a consultant he has worked on European Union, Council of Europe, African Union, International IDEA and Irish government projects. His current book project concerns the role of public law in countering 'democratic decay' worldwide. He has written on democratic decay as a columnist for the ICONnect blog and tweets @DemocracyTalk. Recent publications include The Alchemists: Questioning Our Faith in Courts as DemocracyBuilders (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and a chapter on ‘Democratic Decay in 2016’ in International IDEA’s policy publication, the Annual Review of ConstitutionBuilding.
Associate Professor Tarun Khaitan, Associate Director (India), Asian Law Centre
Associate Professor Tarun Khaitan
Associate Director (India), Asian Law Centre
Melbourne Law School
Tarunabh Khaitan is a Future Fellow at Melbourne Law School. He is also an Associate Professor and the Hackney Fellow in Law at Wadham College, currently on special leave for four years starting 1 September 2017. He is also the General Editor of the Indian Law Review, an Affiliate of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and an Associate of the Oxford Human Rights Hub. As a Future Fellow he is working on a project on the resilience of democratic constitutions, with a focus on South Asia. This adds to his existing work on equality: he helped draft the AntiDiscrimination and Equality Bill currently pending before the Indian Parliament; and he was recently awarded the 2018 Letten Prize, a 2 Million Norwegian Kroner award given biennially to a young researcher under the age of 45 conducting excellent research of great social relevance.
Dr Raul Sanchez-Urribarri, Lecturer
Dr Raul Sanchez-Urribarri
Raul Sanchez Urribarri is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Legal Studies at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina (2010), an LL.M. from Cambridge University (1999), and a Law degree from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (1997) in Venezuela. He is interested in the intersection between Law and Politics in comparative perspective, with an emphasis on understanding the role of informal factors on the operation of courts across different political systems, especially in weakly institutionalized democracies and authoritarian regimes. A significant part of his research is about Latin America and Venezuela in particular. Raul is currently finalising a book on the politicisation of courts in Venezuela from a comparative perspective.
Professor Wojciech Sadurski, Challis Professor in Jurisprudence
Professor Wojciech Sadurski
Challis Professor in Jurisprudence
University of Sydney
Wojciech Sadurski is Challis Professor in Jurisprudence at the University of Sydney. He also holds a position of Professor in the Centre for Europe in the University of Warsaw, and was visiting professor (in 2010, 2011 and 2012) at the University of Trento, Italy and in Cardozo Law School in New York. In 2013/2014 he was Straus Fellow and Global Visiting Professor of Law at New York University Law School. In Spring term, 2015, he was Visiting Professor at Yale Law School. He was Professor of Legal Theory and Philosophy of Law in the Department of Law, European University Institute in Florence (19992009), and served as head of department of Law at the EUI in 20032006. He also taught as visiting professor at a number of universities in Europe, Asia and the United States. He has written extensively on philosophy of law, political philosophy and comparative constitutional law. Since 2015 he has written and engaged widely on democratic decay in Poland. He is currently finishing his forthcoming book with Oxford University Press, Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown: Freefall 20152018 (forthcoming, early 2019).
Laureate Professor Cheryl Saunders, Melbourne Law School
Laureate Professor Cheryl Saunders
Melbourne Law School
Cheryl Saunders is Laureate Professor Emeritus at Melbourne Law School and is a research leader on Australian constitutional law as well as a globally recognised scholar and practitioner in comparative public law and constitutional design. She is a recognised international expert on federalism and decentralisation, the role of different branches of government and management of change. In addition to her research and teaching activities, Cheryl is active in public debate on constitutional matters in Australia and internationally. From 1991, as deputy chair of the Australian Constitutional Centenary Foundation, she was closely involved in its pioneering work to encourage public understanding of the Constitution. She has had some involvement in aspects of constitutional design in other countries, including Fiji, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Iraq and Nepal. She recently edited, with Professor Adrienne Stone, The Oxford Handbook of the Australian Constitution, which provides a comprehensive overview and introduction to the Australian constitutional system in law and practice.