On December 4-9, 2017, a delegation of CASS Institute of International Law, headed by Professor Chen Zexian, Director of the Institute, visited a number of legal and human rights institutions in Australia, including the International Law Center of the Law School of University of Sydney, the Centre for Disability Studies of University of Sydney, the Australian Human Rights Commission, Lowy Institute for International Policy, and New South Wales Legal Service Center for Persons with Intellectual Disability. Other members of the delegation included Professor Liu Huawen, Assistant Director of the Institute; Professor Sun Shiyan, Head of International Human Rights Law Department of the Institute; and Dr. Dai Ruijun, an associate research fellow of International Human Rights Law Department of the Institute.
On December 5, the delegation visited International Law Center of the Law School of University of Sydney and held a meeting with some members of the Center. In the meeting, the hosts and guests introduced to each other the functions, characteristics, and advantages of their own respective institutions and exchanged views on their future cooperation.
On the morning of December 6, the delegation visited the Centre for Disability Studies of University of Sydney, and held a colloquium with Professor Patricia O’Brien, the current director of the Center, Professor Trevor R Parmenter, the former director of the Center, and some other researchers and Ph.D. candidates of the Center. At the colloquium, Director O'Brien gave the delegation an introduction to her Center and its main activities. Then the hosts and guests discussed such issues as China’s ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other human rights conventions, new progresses made by China in the legislation on and practice of protection of the rights and interests of persons with disability, the nature and content of the state’s obligation of safeguarding the rights of persons with disability.
On the afternoon of December 7, the delegation visited the Australian Human Rights Commission and held a meeting with Ms. Jessica Bell, a senior program officer of the Commission. In the meeting, Professor Chen Zexian gave Ms. Bell an introduction to the basic functions of CASS Center for Human Rights Studies and the important role played by the researchers of CASS Law Institute and CASS Institute of International Law in the Center, as well as a series of measures taken by China in the field of criminal justice for the implementation international human rights conventions. Ms. Bell introduced to the members of the delegation the framework, structure and power of the Australian Human Rights Commission and its role in the protection of human rights in Australia and discussed with them such issues as the domestic implementation of international human rights treaties and the relationship between national human rights institutions and other state organs.
On December 7, the delegation visited Lowy Institute for International Policy and held a meeting with five researchers of the Institute, including Ms. Merriden Varrall, Director of East Asian Project of the Institute. The hosts and guests gave each other introductions to their own respective institutions and carried out in-depth exchange of views on such issues as human rights dialogues between China and other countries, protection of the interests of overseas Chinese, and ways of enabling China to play a bigger role in international affairs.
On December 8, the delegation visited New South Wales Legal Service Center for Persons with Intellectually Disability and held a meeting with Ms. Janene Cootes, director of the Center, and other staff members of the center. Ms. Cootes gave members of the delegation a detailed introduction to the main functions and activities of the Center and carried out discussion with them on such issues as the nature and source of funding of legal service centers for persons with disability, how to educate the parents and other relatives of persons with intellectual disability, and how to help persons with intellectual disability in concrete criminal and civil cases.
On the night of December 8, the delegation finished its visit in Australia and went back to Beijing.