Paul Byrne Memorial Lecture 2018: Our First Nations People in Custody: A National Disgrace by Sydney Law School published on 2018-10-25T01:11:01Z 2018 Paul Byrne Memorial Lecture: Our First Nations People in Custody: A National Disgrace 24 October 2018 Speaker: Phillip Boulten SC, Forbes Chambers http://www.forbeschambers.com.au/phillip-boulten-sc.html About the Lecture Indigenous Australians are imprisoned at arguably the highest rate of imprisonment of any group of people in the world. About a quarter of all Australian prisoners are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. They are about 13 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-indigenous Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 24 times more likely to detained in a juvenile detention centre than non-indigenous children. These statistics are well known and understood. There have been Royal Commissions, Commissions of Inquiry, numerous reports and investigations. The magnitude of the disparity is manifest - and disgraceful. This year's Paul Byrne memorial lecture will focus on why this disparity exists and what can be done to ameliorate it. About the Speaker Phillip Boulten is a senior criminal barrister practising at the Sydney Bar from Forbes Chambers. He appears in cases at all levels of the criminal justice system, principally in NSW but also in other jurisdictions. He appeared in the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT as senior counsel for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. He is the Chair of the Indigenous Issues Committee of the Australian Bar Association, Co-Chair of the NSW Bar Association's Working Group on the Over-representation of Indigenous People in Custody and a member of the Law Council's Criminal Law Committee. He is a past President of the NSW Bar Association and a former member of the executive of the Australian Bar Association. Previous speakers include: 2017 - Terry O'Gorman 2016 - Stephen Odgers SC 2015 - The Hon Justice Virginia Bell AC 2014 - The Hon. J D Heydon AC QC 2013 - The Hon. M Gleeson AC QC About Paul Byrne SC This is the seventh Paul Byrne SC Memorial Lecture honouring Paul Byrne SC, who had a life long interest in criminal law and the criminal justice system, as well being an active participant and generous supporter of the Institute of Criminology at the Sydney Law School. Paul Byrne SC graduated in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney, and worked with the Public Solicitor's Office as a solicitor. He became a barrister in 1979, and was appointed a public defender. In 1983 he was awarded a Master of Laws degree with First Class Honours, and was awarded a University Medal. He was appointed Director of the Criminal Law Review Division and a Commissioner of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission. In 1995 he took silk and continued an outstanding career as an advocate in courts at all levels.