What does justice look like? Whose issues gain political traction and which communities are left behind? How can we best invest our energies and resources, balance asks for protection, recognition and distribution, and engage in law reform processes without being swallowed up by the system? If our criminal justice system isn’t delivering justice at all, what alternatives exist? And instead of reacting to top-down policy, media headlines or electoral politics, how can we work together to nurture our long-term, generative, world-making projects that imagine justice beyond the terms of reference afforded to us by the state?
Join activists, academics and critical thinkers sharing their latest thought-provoking ideas about how we can learn from the past, identify potential pitfalls in our social movements, and build coalitions for intersectional change.
Listen to the Thinking Justice Podcast
Thinking Justice Episodes
In Episode 1 of Thinking Justice we explore the history of homosexual conversion therapy. Conjoint Professor Ivan Crozier, a historian of sexuality and psychiatry, discusses the legacies of sexology and medicine, the criminalisation of sexual perversions, corrective treatments in Australia’s gay prisons, and the risks of current regulatory responses.
In Episode 2 of Thinking Justice, we are joined by Dr Emma A. Jane and Dr Nicole A. Vincent to discuss regulatory responses to gendered cyberhate. We explore the escalation of online misogyny with the shift to interactive spaces of web 2.0, including particular patterns and techniques of abuse such as trolling, doxing, ‘revenge porn’, deep fakes and sextortion. Emma and Nicole have examined the formulaic structure of abuse over time by creating a ‘rape threat generator’ based on real-life cyberhate received by real-life women, which can be accessed at rapeglish.com. In this episode they discuss how online cyberhate targets women in media, politics and the tech industry, with a focus on Gamergate, and how perpetrators are not necessarily deterred by decreasing online anonymity. Facing a lack of systemic and legal remedies, they describe the emergence of individual ‘digilante’ tactics (to expose and shame perpetrators) and the role of technology in capturing, tracking and bringing accountability for online abuse.
In Episode 3 of Thinking Justice, Siobhan O’Sullivan uses liberal democratic principles to argue for better visibility, transparency and justice for animals. In light of the recent election of the Animal Justice Party to NSW and Victorian Legislative Councils, we consider the opportunities for animal advocates in Parliament. Siobhan argues that in Australia, the same species of animal will experience different levels of protection or suffering depending on whether they are ‘out of sight, out of mind’. We talk through key issues on the animal rights agenda, including the push towards recognising animals to have legal personhood (rather than property status), affording them a right to protections such as bodily liberty. We also cover some of the challenges in the movement for animal liberation, including the emergence of ‘ag-gag’ laws, which seek to prevent whistle-blowers from exposing cruelty in agricultural industries by prohibiting undercover filming, and the inconsistent definitions of terms like ‘free range’, ‘organic’ or ‘grain-fed’ in labelling practices across jurisdictions.
In Episode 4 we are joined by Zaahir Edries, former President of the Muslim Legal Network NSW, to discuss the broadening of police powers, erosion of civil liberties and diminishing human rights under the name of counter-terrorism. In the wake of the Christchurch Shootings, we consider how Islamophobia has been enshrined in Australia’s public policies over two decades to prime the conditions for terror attacks by white supremacists. With the Othering of Muslim communities in the media and a lack of vilification protections, we discuss the complicity of Australian governments in social exclusion.
In Episode 5 of Thinking Justice, Dr Dinesh Wadiwel talks us through different theoretical perspectives on justice. Drawing from various political philosophers, we consider how articulations of justice have been shaped by the cultural, social and historical environments in which they emerged. We focus on the work of critical race theorists, disability theorists, feminist scholars and anti-capitalist thinkers to critique the visions of freedom and rights that have been articulated by white western philosophers within the context of colonisation, slavery, patriarchy and class exploitation. We ask what history tells us about the material realities of domination, oppression and violence. If capitalism sustains the inequitable distribution of wealth and income, if whiteness involves a collective delusion about how states have come into being (ignoring theft of sovereignty, genocide and extortion of resources), if we are not rational self-serving self-sufficient individuals but instead communities imbricated in systems of inter-dependence and caring, then how do we imagine what justice looks like? How should we respond to the fundamentally unjust societies in which we live?