Red Cross Oration a Great Success

From Left to Right: A/Prof Dale Stephens, Ms Petra Ball, Ms Naz Modirzadeh, A/Prof David Brown and Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope

On 14 October, Ms Naz Modirzadeh of Harvard Law School delivered the inaugural SA Red Cross Oration at the National Wine Centre to a packed house of over 150 attendees. Ms Modirzadeh is a Director of the Harvard Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC) and has been a prolific and celebrated scholar in this area over the years. The Red Cross Oration was delivered on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of the Red Cross in both SA and Australia. The acting Dean, A/Prof David Brown and Ms Helen Connelly the Executive Director of the Red Cross in SA, jointly welcomed everybody to the event and set the tone for what followed. The topic of the Oration was titled ‘Turning Point or Breaking Point? Dilemmas in Protecting Civilians through International Humanitarian Law’ and the event was co-sponsored by Adelaide Law School and the Australian Red Cross. The themes highlighted in the Oration focused on the importance of the dissemination function of the Red Cross in relation to the Law of Armed Conflict. Three topics in particular were discussed that were argued to be deserving of greater research and public dissemination, these were the uneasy growth of new legal forms of non-international armed conflict, the continuing challenges in respecting protections for humanitarian workers in conflict zones and the need to recognize an essential empathy towards victims of armed conflict. Associate Professor Dale Stephens of the Law School, an experienced scholar in this area, introduced Ms Modirzadeh and moderated questions. Ms Modirzadeh was a powerful speaker and the sophistication of her presentation generated waves of questions from an engaged audience. Dr Phoebe Wynn Pope, the National International Humanitarian Law Director for the Red Cross in Australia, delivered a touching vote of thanks following the presentation. It was a sensational evening and one that the Adelaide Law School was proud to be associated with.

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