Confronting death: Capital punishment in Asia

Presented by ANU College of Law

Does the death penalty deter crime? What is the scope and nature of Australia’s role in the region? Why has there been a resurgence of the death penalty in the Asia-Pacific?

Jointly hosted by ANU Law Reform and Social Justice and Amnesty ANU, this symposium on the death penalty in Asia—the first of its kind in Australia—aims to bring together leading researchers and activists with diverse backgrounds to explore issues relating to the use of the death penalty in Asia in their own unique perspectives.

Questions about the death penalty have arisen again in the wake of recent executions in Indonesia and the ongoing debates on bringing the death penalty back in abolitionist countries such as the Philippines and Turkey. Panellists will share their personal experiences and expertise in relation to the death penalty, exploring historical and contextual issues such as the role of public opinion, the impact of capital punishment on families of the inmates, and the extent to which Australia can play a leading role in promoting human rights in the region.

Our guest speakers include Julian McMahon (President, Reprieve Australia), Prof Susan Trevaskes (Adjunct Director, China in the World), Guy Ragen (Amnesty International) and Priscilla Chia (Co-founder, Second Chances Asia). The symposium will begin with presentations from each speaker, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Director of Law Reform and Social Justice Matthew Zagor. This will be a good opportunity for students in the ANU College of Law, College of Asia Pacific, and School of Politics and International Relations to meet lawyers, activists and practitioners that are involved in the day-to-day work of campaigning against the death penalty in Asia.