WALTA Special Meeting – 11 July 2017

We are excited to announce that the Western Australian Legal Theory Association will be hosting another special meeting on 11 July 2017 at 6:30pm in the Herbert Smith Freehills Lecture Theatre at Murdoch University.

Our speaker for the evening is our own Joshua Forrester.

Joshua Forrester graduated with first class honours in law from the University of Western Australia. He practiced primarily in the field of commercial litigation. Presently, he is a PhD candidate in law at Murdoch University.

Joshua is the lead author of No Offence Intended: Why 18C is Wrong. This book argues that, while Australia should have a law against racial hatred, s 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) is too broad and too vague to be constitutional. Section 18C is not supported by the external affairs power, and impermissibly infringes the implied freedom of political communication. This book is listed as one the Spectator magazine’s best books of 2016, and has been favourably reviewed in The Australian, Quadrant and the Spectator.

Along with his fellow authors of No Offence Intended, Dr Augusto Zimmermann and Lorraine Finlay, he has made submissions to and appeared before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights’ recent inquiry into s 18C. Their submissions and evidence were referred to in the final report of this committee. Joshua and his fellow authors have also made submissions to and appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Human Rights Sub-Committee’s current Inquiry into Freedom of Religion and Belief.

Joshua also has co-authored articles appearing in The Conversation, Quadrant, Policy and the IPA Review.

Joshua’s presentation will be on his PhD research: The language of the human spirit: a thymotic approach to rights

Why do we talk in the language of rights? In my PhD thesis, I argue that rights “speak the language of value”. That is, when a person asserts a right, they are in effect asserting that value be placed in someone or something. A person’s sense of value stems from thymos (Ancient Greek for “spirit”). Thymos is a part of the human mind first identified in Plato’s Republic. However, it is a concept that is still useful today. My argument offers a new perspective on natural law theory, and a new explanation for the origin of human rights.

The event is free for all members and non-members.  If you wish to join WALTA please email our president at a.zimmermann@murdoch.edu.au.

We look forward to seeing you there.