Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 12:00 to 15:00
Hybrid (in-person and via Zoom)
Human Rights and Abolitionism




The UNSW Centre for Crime, Law & Justice and the Australian Human Rights Institute invite you to an event on 'Human Rights and Abolitionism', to be held in hybrid format in the Law & Justice Building (level two staff common room) and online via Zoom.

Human rights and criminal justice advocates have increasingly called for the radical rethinking and abolition of traditional criminal punishment and carceral systems. This event will bring domestic and international experts on criminal justice and human rights together to discuss the “what?”, the “why?”, and the “how?” of abolitionism in a human rights context.

Our headliner is Tina McPhee, a lived experience criminologist. She is a formerly incarcerated abolitionist and #languagematters campaigner. She will speak about her work, in a lecture titled "On whose terms? An abolitionist’s guide to avoiding tokenism and exploitation of people with lived prison experience".

Tina’s lecture will be followed by a conversation between Tina, Lukas Carey (UNSW), Karen Engle (University of Texas) and Andrew Brooks/Astrid Lorange (UNSW). Lukas will speak to "Education – A better alternative?"; Karen will speak to "Human Rights and Abolition Movements: Resonances and Dissonances"; and Andrew will speak to "Abolitionist Imaginaries: Policing, Crisis, Representation".

Event format:

  • 12:00-1:00pm: 'On whose terms? An abolitionist’s guide to avoiding tokenism and exploitation of people with lived prison experience' presented by Tina McPhee
  • 1:00-1:30pm: Light lunch and refreshments
  • 1:30-3:00pm: Panel discussion


Tina McPhee simultaneously completed both a 9-year custodial sentence and a First-Class Honors where she conceptualized, through autoethnography, the collateral consequences of conviction in South Australia. Collateral consequences are the legal and extra-legal barriers designed to exclude, exploit, and discriminate against people with criminal convictions. Through her experience as both student and object/subject of criminology, Tina has questioned the safety of universities, reentry services, and reform initiatives for people with lived prison experience. Abolitionist and decolonial feminist ideology informs Tina's work and she locates herself amongst a small but growing body of activist scholars.

Lukas Carey holds a Doctorate in Education and has worked in the field for most of his career as a teacher, trainer, coach, educator and lived experience academic. While filling a role in local government he was charged with and convicted of receiving secret commissions and served time in prison. During and since Lukas’ incarceration, he developed a strong interest in the role that previously incarcerated people have in the development of policy and procedure and the educational opportunities provided to currently and previously incarcerated people. He is a strong advocate for the importance of Convict Criminology and Lived experience to provide balance to research and discussion and to represent the missing voice, those that have lived incarceration.

Karen Engle is Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law and Founder and Co-director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Latin American Studies and of Women's and Gender Studies. She writes on the interaction between social movements and law, particularly in the fields of international human rights law, international criminal law, and Latin American law. She is author of numerous scholarly articles and of The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Feminist Interventions in International Law (Stanford University Press, 2020) as well as The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development: Rights, Culture, Strategy (Duke University Press, 2010).

Andrew Brooks is a lecturer in Media Studies in the School of Arts and Media at UNSW. His current research proposes strategies for reading and listening to contemporary media events, systems, and infrastructures, with a particular focus on social movements in the context of circulatory capitalism, infrastructural inequality, policing and abolition, and the politics of race. He is a founding member of the Infrastructural Inequalities research network and one half of the critical art collective Snack Syndicate. He co-edits the publishing collective Rosa Press. Homework, co-written with Astrid Lorange, was published in 2021. Inferno, a collection of poems, was published in 2021. Astrid Lorange is a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Art & Design who lives on unceded Wangal land. Her research focuses on the social movements and cultural practices that emerge as forms of resistance to state-managed violence. Her current project focusses on documentary practices in contemporary poetry and art. She is one-half of the critical art collective Snack Syndicate, whose book of essays Homework was published by Discipline in 2021. Her scholarly monograph How Reading is Written: A Brief Index to Gertrude Stein was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2014 and her poetry collection Labour and Other Poems was published by Cordite Books in 2020. She co-edits Rosa Press.