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The following is the full text of the 2010 John Barry Memorial Lecture, presented by University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow Peter Norden AO on 11 November. The Barry lecture series has been presented by the Barry Family and the Criminology discipline in the School of Social and Political Sciences since 1972.  A full recording of the lecture will be made available at http://live.unimelb.edu.au.

Health professionals’ fears about the legal consequences of discussing medical errors with patients are stifling their willingness to have these conversations, a University of Melbourne study has found.

Health professionals’ fears about the legal consequences of discussing medical errors with patients are stifling their willingness to have these conversations, a University of Melbourne study has found.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that Australia’s prison system is in desperate need of a massive overhaul, according to Peter Norden AO from the University of Melbourne.

While voting has assumed centre stage now the Federal election has been called, electoral choice is ‘biased’ towards powerful and wealthy interests according to Dr Joo-Cheong Tham from the Melbourne Law School.

The collection and access of medical records needs to change to improve health care outcomes, says Professor Loane Skene from the University of Melbourne.

Home owners with loans from finance companies that are not banks, credit unions or building societies are slugged with exit fees up to 350% higher than other home owners with loans, according to a new University of Melbourne study. 

Recently, The Age reported in ‘DNA first gives hope on genetic diseases’ (see here)that research by Newcastle University in the UK had shown that embryos created with two mothers may offer a breakthrough that could eradicate a host of hereditary diseases.

Professor Gerry Simpson is the Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law at the Melbourne Law School, and is a Professor of Public International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  In this piece, he analyses how the 2010 British Election could unfold.You can read more about Professor Simpson at http://bit.ly/cWR9pj

Australian humanitarian and military law expert Professor Tim McCormack has been appointed as Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law to Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Professor McCormack, from the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne will help the Office of the Prosecutor to develop a solid understanding of complex legal issues such as indiscriminate attack, proportionality and command responsibility. He will also provide advice on the application and interpretation of international humanitarian law in relation to crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, as well as on general principles of criminal law and legal issues related to military structures.

"It's a great honour and a big responsibility, but something that I'm very keen to do," says Professor McCormack.  "I've been involved for twenty years in researching international humanitarian law and enforcement of the violations of that law, as well as the prosecution of war crimes. I've been teaching about it, writing about it and publicly advocating it for a number of years."

"Now to be given this opportunity, it's something I can't say no to, I have to take it up and do the best I can with it."

More information about the announcement can be found at http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/hague.

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