The Barry O'Keefe Memorial Lecture is an annual event hosted by the Thomas More Law School at Australian Catholic University and is named in honour of the late Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC DUniv (Honoris Causa) (ACU). The inaugural Barry O'Keefe Memorial Lecture was held at Australian Catholic University's MacKillop Campus in North Sydney in 2015.

Justice O'Keefe's contributions include Chair of Interpol's International Group of Experts on Corruption and Chair of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council representing the Catholic Church's response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Justice O'Keefe was a Judge of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, Court of Common Law Division and Court of Criminal Appeal. ACU awarded Justice O'Keefe the University's highest honour, an honorary doctorate, two weeks before he passed away in 2014.

Past lectures

Past lectures, together with invited speakers, are listed below. Recorded lectures can be accessed via the topic link.





The Honourable Jacqueline Gleeson

Mercy in Law


Arthur Moses SC

A Human Rights Act for NSW?


Professor Libby Lyons

Is the Fair Work Act really fair?

View the recording of the 2022 Barry O'Keefe Lecture


Professor Michael Dodson AM

Treaty: It is a marriage not a divorce

View the recording of the 2021 Barry O'Keefe Lecture


Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO

Do we need religious freedom laws in Australia?


Julian McMahon AC SC

Why isn't the death penalty dying? Or is it?


The Honourable Susan Crennan AC SC

Sir Owen Dixon: The Communist Party Case, Then and Now


Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC

The Principle of Legality and Protection of Human Rights in Australia


The Honourable Justice Francois Kunc

The contribution of law to the greater good and human flourishing


The Honourable Murray Gleeson AC KC

The purpose of law

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