Leading Human Rights Barrister, Kate Eastman SC joins us for our summer series on In The Spirit of Things Conversations. We talk Human Rights, Women in Law, Life, and Protecting the Vulnerable.
Kate Eastman SC is a leading Australian human rights lawyer and academic.
Eastman has practised as a barrister in Sydney in the areas of human rights, discrimination, employment and administrative law since 1998.
Her work has included representing Yasidi women trafficked into Syria, David Hicks during his time in Guantanamo Bay, asylum seekers, women experiencing sexual violence, sexual harassment and discrimination, children with disabilities seeking access to education, war crimes investigations, Optional Protocol complaints to UN Human Rights bodies, Modern Slavery, preparing submissions and advice for human rights NGOs and community legal centres. In 2012 she was made senior counsel.
Kate actively contributes to raising awareness of human rights obligations within the legal profession. She is chair of the Australian Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee; a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Business and Human Rights Working Group; and a member of the Law Council of Australia’s National Human Rights Committee.
In 1998 she was the only Australian NGO representative accredited to participate in the UN negotiations for the establishment of the International Criminal Court in Rome.
Prior to her admission to the bar she worked as a solicitor at law firm Allen, Allen & Hemsley and as a senior legal officer at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
Eastman has received a Law Foundation Justice Award for her contribution to pro bono work and in 2017 was awarded Change Champion of the Year at the NSW Women's Lawyers Achievement Awards.
Kate is currently Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. She is also a Senior Fellow with Monash Law School. In 2019 she was awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Law Award for her contribution to pro-bono work in human rights law.