Chair of the Citizenship Council

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Abstract

In the occasion of Sir Ninian Stephen's eightieth birthday, Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan wrote that 'Sir Ninian Stephen is one of those rare individuals whose national and international careers are equally distinguished. One of Australia's outstanding jurists, he has made a pioneering contribution to the United Nations sphere, as a judge and in the realm of international legal policy'. Kofi Annan's assessment is surely correct. From the highest offices of public service in Australia, Sir Ninian went on to broad-ranging involvement in international affairs, representing his country with distinction as a universally revered global citizen. After ten years as justice of Australia's High Court (1972-82) and serving as governor-general from 1982 to 1989, Sir Ninian embarked upon a decade of extraordinary international appointments: as Australia's first Ambassador for the Environment; chairing the Northern Ireland Peace Talks; profoundly contributing to the development of international criminal law as foundation Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and judging the first international criminal trial since the post-World War II Nuremberg and Tokyo trials; attempting to broker peace in Bangladesh; evaluating allegations of forced labour in Burma; and investigating the possibility of a criminal tribunal for former Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia. In all these endeavours, Sir Ninian's integrity and judicial knowledge, as well as his great skills of diplomacy, eloquence, lucid communication and his humour, were highly respected.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSir Ninian Stephen: A Tribute
EditorsTimothy McCormack, Cheryl Saunders
Place of PublicationCarlton
PublisherMelbourne University Press
Chapter4
Pages80-97
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780522851021
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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  • Cite this

    Rubenstein, K. (2007). Chair of the Citizenship Council. In T. McCormack, & C. Saunders (Eds.), Sir Ninian Stephen: A Tribute (pp. 80-97). Melbourne University Press.