Twenty-first Geoffrey Sawer Lecture - Eyes on the spies: Why and how?

Date & time

6–7pm Thursday 1 November 2018



China in the World, 188 Fellows Lane, The Australian National University


The Hon Margaret Stone FAAL, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security


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


ANU Law Marketing & Communications

Presented by the Centre for International & Public Law


Part of the Annual Geoffrey Sawer Lecture series

Margaret Stone

Over the centuries, governments, whether royal sovereigns or sovereign states, have relied on spies to reinforce their power and security. In a liberal democracy such as Australia, there is inevitable tension between the formidable powers of the intelligence agencies and the protection of civil liberties, such as individual privacy, and religious, political and intellectual freedoms. The challenge faced by intelligence agencies in meeting diverse and complex threats whilst respecting the proper bounds of government encroachment is greater than ever before.

The lecture will explore the legal and ethical framework in which the Australian Intelligence Community operates, the oversight of those operations and the structural and cultural features essential to success.

Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm.

The Sawer Lecture will be followed by the Public Law Weekend on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 November hosted by the ANU Centre for International and Public Law. The major sponsor for the Sawer Lecture and the Public Law Weekend is the Australian Government Solicitor.


  • The Hon Margaret Stone FAAL »

    The Hon. Margaret Stone was appointed as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security in 2015. From 2000 to 2012 she was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia, prior to which she was a partner in the commercial law firm, Freehill Hollingdale & Page (now Herbert Smith Freehills). Between December 2012 and August 2015 she was Australia’s first Independent Reviewer of ASIO’s Adverse Security Assessments.

    Her career also included 15 years in the Law Faculty of the University of New South Wales where she is now an adjunct professor. She is a foundation fellow of the Australian Academy of Law and holds degrees from Yale University, the University of Sydney and the Australian National University.


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