The Higinbotham Lecture is the premier legal event for RMIT and the Law Thought Leadership Series.
This years’ guest speaker is the Honourable Marcia Neave AO, former Justice of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria and Chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Please join us on Thursday 25th August 2016 as we explore the topic 'Freedom from Family Violence: Does a Human Rights Framework Help?'
The obligation of the state to provide effective legal responses to protect people from family violence is often said to be based on acknowledgment of the human rights of family violence victims. This lecture suggests that although arguments based on human rights justify criticisms of inadequate state responses to family violence, they do not go far enough.
The lecture discusses Professor Martha Fineman’s use of the concept of the vulnerable subject, as a broader rationale for assumption of governmental responsibility. It argues that adoption of a broader concept of vulnerability could require government to put policies in place to prevent family violence, help victims to recover from the long term effects of violence and, so far as possible, support the users of violence to change their behaviour.
The lecture describes the recommendations which the Royal Commission into Family Violence made to achieve these goals. It argues that a focus on ‘vulnerability,’ rather than on human rights alone, could underpin a more effective and fairer public policy response to the widespread and intractable social evil of family violence.