Accountability in Crisis
Accountability in crisis: the rise of impunity as a challenge to human rights will bring together academics, journalists, politicians, activists, and business leaders to explore how rising authoritarianism, prolonged global conflict, climate change, economic instability and the proliferation of digital media have triggered an erosion of the human rights principles and practice and declining trust in democratic institutions.
The conference will consider how government, business, media and civil society operate to both undermine and bolster accountability.
The opening session will canvas the key conference theme of the elevation of impunity over accountability and the consequences for national democratic institutions and global stability.
Speakers: Jeremy Heimans, Chris Sidoti, Lenore Taylor, Saffron Zomer.
This session is free for students.
Chris Sidoti is a human rights lawyer, advocate and teacher. He currently works from Sydney, Australia, as an international human rights consultant. He is a member of the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar and was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar from 2017 to 2019. Since July 2021, he has been a Commissioner on the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel. He is an adjunct professor at the Australian Catholic University.
He was Australian Human Rights Commissioner (1995-2000) and Australian Law Reform Commissioner (1992-1995). He has also worked in non-government organisations, including as director of the International Service for Human Rights, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and for the Human Rights Council of Australia and the Australian Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace. In 2007-08 he was the independent chair of the United Kingdom Government’s Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum.
Lenore Taylor has been the editor of Guardian Australia for seven years, and has been with Guardian Australia since its launch in May 2013, when she joined as political editor. Lenore has been honoured with two Walkley Awards, twice won the Paul Lyneham Award for excellence in press gallery journalism and co-authored a book, Shitstorm, on the Rudd government's response to the global economic crisis.
Lenore is a formidable commentator on the Australian political landscape and has long been a regular guest on radio and television current affairs programs, including the ABC's Insiders.
Saffron Zomer is the Executive Director of the Australian Democracy Network, with more than a decade of experience leading law reform campaigns. Before her current role, Saffron was Government Relations Manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation. She spent several years living and working in the US, holding various campaign and government relations roles.
In 2017, Saffron co-founded and led the Hands Off Our Charities Alliance which secured critical changes to the 2017 Electoral Act amendments to protect the rights of civil society organisations to engage in advocacy.
Jeremy Heimans is the co-founder and Chairman of Purpose, a public benefit corporation with offices on six continents, that builds and supports movements for an open, just, and habitable world. He was co-founder of GetUp!, an Australian NGO with more members than all of Australia’s political parties combined, and Avaaz, the world’s largest online citizens’ movement, now with more than 65 million members.
Named as one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, The Guardian declared Heimans one of the ten most influential voices on sustainability in the US and included him in its World Pride Power List of LGBT+ leaders, and The Monthly has observed that Heimans “might be the most influential Australian in the world”. With Henry Timms, Jeremy is co-author of the international bestseller New Power, praised by The New York Times’ David Brooks as “the best window I’ve seen into this new world” and by The Guardian as “a manual on how to navigate the 21st century.” The book was short-listed for the 2018 FT & Business Book of the Year Award and named a best book of the year by Bloomberg, Fortune, Inc, CNBC and others.