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Monday, 23 November 2009
Professor Kerry Cox with Dr Robert French, Professor Caroline Taylor, Dr Fred Chaney and Mr Sam Walsh
The Honourable Chief Justice Dr Robert French visited ECU’s Joondalup Campus on Friday as the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Orator for 2009.
Chief Justice Dr French spoke about the Constitution and the Protection of Human Rights.
Dr French was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia in 2008, and has a long history of association with ECU, having served as foundation Chancellor from 1991 to 1996 and receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from ECU in 1998.
More than 110 members of the ECU Community attended the event including 2008 Orator, the Honourable Dr Fred Chaney AO, Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia, 2007 Orator Mr Sam Walsh, Chief Executive of Iron Ore with Rio Tinto and 2006 Orator, Professor Caroline Taylor who has since joined ECU as the Foundation Professor in Social Justice.
Dr French gave an overview of human rights and the drafting of the Australian Constitution and the many attempts to introduce Bills of Rights.
He also spoke about the importance of a culture of respect for human rights and freedoms within society, noting that the debate is the extent to which such a culture may be supported by law.
Katie McKenzie, a member of the University’s first cohort of law graduates, thanked Justice French following the oration.