2015 Arthur Cobbold Memorial Lecture
- Health & Wellness
- MS2 Theatre, Medical Science Precinct, Hobart Tasmania
A Century of War and Peace: Australian Red Cross and the Development of International Humanitarian Law
Professor Tim McCormack
Australian Red Cross was established 100 years ago in the frenzied days following the outbreak of World War I. As young Australian men right across our even younger nation rushed to enlist in their tens of thousands, Lady Munro-Ferguson, wife of the then Governor-General, issued her own clarion call for volunteers to join forces to nourish the troops, train in first aid and provide medical supplies - all in an incredible national display of support for the war effort. So began an organization that, although branching out into a range of important peace-time humanitarian initiatives, continues to have a unique focus on the legal regulation of the conduct of war to this day. Australian Red Cross is a recognized leader among national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the promotion of understanding of, and respect for, International Humanitarian Law. Professor Tim McCormack will discuss how that leadership role within the Global Red Cross Movement developed.
Tim McCormack is a leading international authority on IHL and on the prosecution of war crimes. He is a Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne Law School and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Tasmania Law School. He is the Special Adviser on IHL to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the Expert Adviser on the Law of Armed Conflict to the ADF Director of Military Prosecutions in Canberra. Tim has held a number of other globally significant positions: he served as one of two international observers (with Lord David Trimble, Nobel Peace Laureate and former First Minister of Northern Ireland) of the Israeli Government's Turkel Commission of Enquiry into Israel's Processes for Investigating Alleged War Crimes (Jerusalem, 2011-2013); as expert law of war adviser to Major Dan Mori in the defence of David Hicks before the US Military Commission (Guantanamo Bay, 2003-2007); and as special adviser on international law issues to the judges in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic (The Hague, 2002-2006). Tim was the Foundation Australian Red Cross Professor of IHL (1996-2010) and the Foundation Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, a collaborative initiative of the Melbourne Law School and the ADF Legal Service (2001-2010) both at the Melbourne Law School. He has been a member of the Australian Red Cross National Advisory Committee on IHL since 1991 and served as Chair of that Committee from 1994-2002. He was a national Vice-President of Australian Red Cross (1999-2002) and in 2001 was awarded the Australian Red Cross Volunteer Medal for outstanding service to the National IHL Committee. Tim was born in Launceston, grew up in Burnie (he attended Burnie State School, Parklands High School and Hellyer College). He graduated LLB (Hons) from the University of Tasmania and PhD from Monash University. He was the first Australian recipient of the Golda Meir Postdoctoral Fellowship to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1989).
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The University of Tasmania is the fourth oldest university in Australia, established in 1890. Ranked in the the top three per cent of universities globally and in the 10 Australian research universities, the University has a long-standing reputation for excellence in learning, teaching and research. As the only university based in Tasmania, the closeness of our relationship with Tasmania defines us as an intstitution, our strength and character generated by the interplay between serving our community and being the best university we can be.
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