Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Celebrating the 70th anniversary

Date & time

5.30–8.30pm Monday 10 December 2018


Finkel Lecture Theatre

John Curtin School of Medical Research, 131 Garran Road, The Australian National University


Stefano Vescovi, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


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Presented by the Embassy of Switzerland in Australia, ANU Film Group, ANU Law Reform & Social Justice, Amnesty International and the ANU Centre for European Studies

Film screening
Eldorado film screening

On 10 December 1948, the UN General Assembly, presided by Australia’s HV ‘Doc’ Evatt, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Born out of ‘barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind’, the UDHR promised to usher in a new era founded on the ‘equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family’.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary and reflect on its promise, the Embassy of Switzerland is hosting the Australian premiere of Markus Imhoof’s Eldorado, which has already won the 2018 Amnesty International film prize in Berlin and is running for the Oscars in 2019. The film explores the challenges facing refugees trying to reach Europe alongside Imhoof’s own recollections of his family’s response to the refugee crisis of his youth during World War II.

A panel of eminent experts will share their thoughts on the current state of the ‘age of rights’.


  • Stefano Vescovi »

    Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland

  • Nai Jit Lam »

    Deputy Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Canberra

  • Kate Waterford »

    Vice President, Board of Amnesty International Australia

  • Dr Kim Huynh »

    ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences and Author of Where the Sea Takes Us

  • Associate Professor Matthew Zagor »

    Director, Law Reform & Social Justice, ANU College of Law.

    Associate Professor Matthew Zagor has 20 years’ experience as a human rights advocate, practitioner and scholar. His research is characterised by its transdisciplinary approach and diversity, with recent publications covering comparative constitutional law, the legal 'recognition' of refugee narrative identities, the ‘humanity’ turn of international law, and perspectives of legality amongst Israeli soldiers. His current research applies theories of political theology to the legal construction of the border, and the Australian judiciary's approach to human rights treaty obligations.

    Matthew’s most recent research considers how liberal notions of autonomy, authenticity and redemption inform legal and political constructions of the refugee. His current project uses these concepts to explore state sovereignty and border control.

    Before joining academia, Matthew worked in community law, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, and as a Member on the Migration / Refugee Review Tribunal. He remains actively involved in law reform and public policy, making regular submissions to Parliamentary inquiries, commenting publicly on refugee policy, and sitting on the Advisory Committee of the ALRC’s Freedoms Inquiry.

    Matthew is an Adjunct Fellow at the ANU Centre for European Studies, and Editor of the Australian Yearbook of International Law. He has held Visiting Fellowships at the LSE Centre for Human Rights and Society and the University of Grenoble’s Centre for International Security and European Cooperation, and in 2013 participated in the prestigious Michigan Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law. Matthew speaks regularly on refugee-related matters in Australia and overseas.




Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team