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Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science Seminar Series 2017

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Date: Tuesday 14 November
Venue: AMDC lecture theatre, Hawthorn Campus

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You are invited to attend the final presentation of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science Seminar Series. The CFBS Seminar Series invites scholars from a variety of disciplines across Forensic Psychology and Psychiatry, Behavioural Science, Law and Criminology, to present in their fields of interest. The aim is to encourage an exchange of research and ideas and promote collegiality within the faculty and the broader discipline.

As our final presentation in the 2017 seminar series, we are honoured to have Justice Peter McClellan AM as our guest.

Justice McClellan will speak with us regarding the findings of and his experiences conducting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 

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Speaker: Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM

JusticePeterMcClellan_03The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM is a Judge of Appeal in New South Wales. He was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1974 and admitted to the Bar in 1975. He practised in many areas of law, with particular expertise in planning and environmental law, administrative law, valuation and water-related matters. He advised many government agencies and was involved in many issues related to public sector corruption. He became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2011 for services to the judiciary through the Supreme Court of NSW, to environmental law, and to legal education.

Justice McClellan holds degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney.


In the weeks before handing over the Royal Commission’s Final Report to the Governor General, Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM will discuss the ongoing need to re-examine the accepted values that define rights for individuals and groups.

He will reflect on his time as Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia in the mid-1980s, which revisited the values of the post-War Australia and the disregard of the rights of Aboriginal people which led to the land of the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people being taken for the nuclear testing program.

Some thirty years on, he will discuss how the disregard for the rights of children has led to their sexual abuse in institutional environments. Justice McClellan will look at how these values allowed many institutions to minimise the impact of child sexual abuse, ignoring the damage to victims and the flow-on effects to families, institutions, communities and, ultimately, Australian society.

The Royal Commission has helped place the problem of child sexual abuse squarely on the national agenda, calling into question commonly held values from years past and today. This questioning needs to continue – two very different Royal Commissions have shown what may happen if we fail to do so.

Contact Information: Brett McIvor, Research Centre Coordinator
Email: Tel: +61 3 9947 2606