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Have we become too fixated on torture?

Media release


13 June 2008

Public Lecture: Have we become too fixated on torture?

Presented by Professor John Kleinig

Thursday, 26 June 2008
Bankwest Lecture Theatre
Building 200
Curtin University of Technology
Kent Street, Bentley

The free public lecture will discuss the absolute prohibition against torture decreed by the UN Convention Against Torture.  Has this initiative distracted society from the real issue which is, whether the treatment of political detainees and prisoners is cruel, degrading and inhuman?  Society’s fixation on interrogation techniques must not cloud its judgement of what is morally acceptable.

Professor John Kleinig, Director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Ethics and Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Law & Police Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and in the PhD Programs in Philosophy and Criminal Justice, Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, will present the lecture.

His address at Curtin coincides with the United Nations International Day in Support of Survivors of Torture and is endorsed by Amnesty International Australia, Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Surviors (ASeTTS), and the Centre for Human Rights Education at Curtin.

The lecture will be chaired by Janet Holmes á Court, Patron of ASeTTS.

Originally from Perth, Professor Kleinig completed an MA in Philosophy at the University of Western Australia (1965), a PhD at the Australian National University (1968), and a BD from the Melbourne College of Divinity (1968), before taking up a position at Macquarie University in 1969. After a year as a Fulbright Scholar in the United States in 1984, he moved to his present position in New York in 1986. For the past five years he has had a split appointment between New York and Canberra.

General public interested in attending should RSVP by email to or by phone to 08 9266 3484.

NOTE TO COS/Editor: Media are welcome to attend and are asked to RSVP to Sally Rowe on
0401 103 373 or 9266 2793 or

Free parking is available in Carpark P3 (Enter via Kent Street and follow the signs). All bays are open to the public except those marked as disabled parking.

Modified: 13 June 2008