Sydney Hearing

14th October 2019
5.30 – 8.30pm

Ethics Centre
Legion House
Level 2/161 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

The Airspace Tribunal invites representations from experts across a broad range of disciplines and lived experience, such as human rights, contemporary warfare, new media ecologies, climate change, neuropsychology, conflict and forced migration, to discuss the challenges and consider the case for and against the recognition of a new human right to protect the freedom to exist without physical or psychological threat from above.

Speakers include:

  • Nick Grief – member of the legal team that represented the Marshall Islands and took the UK, India and Pakistan to the International Court of Justice for violating their nuclear disarmament obligations
  • Shona Illingworth– artist whose video and sound installations investigate memory, cultural erasure and structures of power in situations of social tension and conflict.
  • Felicity Ruby– Former Director of Internet Policy for global software consulting firm, ThoughtWorks, and political adviser to Senator Scott Ludlam, Greenpeace International, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).
  • Brett Biddington – founder of a consulting company specialising in space and cyber security. Former member of Cisco Systems’ global space team, and officer in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) specialising in intelligence, security and capability development.
  • Steven Freeland – is a Professor of International Law at Western Sydney University, Australia and an expert in international criminal law, commercial aspects of space law, public international law and human rights law.  He represents the Australian government at UN conferences and committees and has advised various governments on issues concerning the regulation of space activities.
  • Sebastian Pfautsch —  tree physiologist, Senior Research Fellow and Drone Research and Teaching Unit (DRTU) lead at the University of Western Sydney.
  • Safdar Ahmed is a Sydney-based artist and academic. He is the author of Reform and Modernity in Islam and the Walkley Award-winning web comic Villawood: Notes from an immigration detention centre. He works mostly in the mediums of drawing and comics, and is a founding member of the community art organisation, Refugee Art Project.
  • Sara Mir is an Iranian-Australian artist and industrial engineer who is based in Sydney. As a child she and her family experienced the war between Iraq and Iran. Her art practice focuses on making short films and comics. She currently volunteers as a workshop facilitator with the not-for-profit community art organization, Refugee Art Project, at their studio in Thirning Villa in Ashfield, Sydney.
  • Majid Rabet is an electromechanical engineer by trade who came to Australia from Iran as a refugee in 2009. His time in immigration detention brought him to the world of art and the tools and inventions he created in Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre are now in the permanent collection of the Powerhouse Museum. Majid occupies himself as an artist, sculpture, designer and inventor, as well as conducting art workshops facilitated for diverse communities across Western Sydney.

Counsel to the Tribunal:

  • Andrew Byrnes – expert on women’s human rights, gender and human rights, United Nations human rights treaty bodies, national human rights institutions, economic and social rights, peoples’ tribunals and international law, and the incorporation of human rights standards in domestic law. Currently a member of the Executive Council of the Asian Society of International Law. Former Chair of the Australian Human Rights Centre from 2005 to 2017 and external legal adviser to the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and rapporteur of the International Law Association’s Committee on International Human Rights Law. He is currently a Professor of International Law at the UNSW Law Faculty.

Part of the Big Anxiety Festival, Sydney

Co-curated with Jackie Dent
The Sydney hearing of the Airspace Tribunal was supported by UNSW, the Big Anxiety Festival, The Wapping Project and the University of Kent.
Venue partner: The Ethics Centre