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Bond Welcomes Shadow Justice Minister, Zimbabwe

Shadow Justice Minister of Zimbabwe , The Hon David Coltart MP, will be a special guest of Bond University at the fifth annual Gerard Brennan Lecture series this month.

David Coltart, an internationally recognised human rights activist and critic of the collapsing Zimbabwean democracy under Robert Mugabe's regime, is in Australia for the Bond University Gerard Brennan Lecture.

The Gerard Brennan Lecture aims to bring together legal practitioners, academics and students of Bond University's Law Faculty with leaders from the Australian and international legal profession and judiciary.

Dean Bentley, Dean of Law at Bond University said “It is an honour for Bond University to host the visit of the Honourable David Coltart, a leading human rights lawyer standing up in a high profile and dangerous political role against one of the most malevolent African dictators since Idi Amin”.

Mr Coltart has campaigned for decades to advance respect for human rights in Zimbabwe and throughout the region. His visit, which will cover three states, aims to raise awareness about the current situation in Zimbabwe .

As a member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, Mr Coltart has experienced years of intimidation and regular harassment. Mr Coltart's exceptional career as a human rights activist is legendary within Zimbabwe and South Africa . His reports into human rights abuses in Matabeleland during the Mugabe ‘Plough and Reconstruct' terror campaign of 1985, defence of ZAPU Party MP Sidney Malunga and other dissidents, led him to be appointed as the Director of the Bulawayo Legal Projects Centre and Chairman of this Board, a role he has held since 1997. Mr Coltart personally briefed President Mandela on the Zimbabwe Presidential Election court challenge.

In July 2000, Mr Coltart was Elected Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South Constituency - a predominately black working class constituency with an 84% majority over Mugabe's ZANU Party. In August, 2000 Mr Coltart was then appointed Shadow Justice Minister by the President of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, and during that time chaired the Parliamentary Select Committee for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary affairs. He is currently a senior partner at the prestigious law firm Webb Low and Barry.

His address, is entitled ‘The erosion of law in Zimbabwe (2000-2005).” Will be delivered on Saturday, 30 July at Bond University . The annual Gerard Brennan public lecture series honours the exceptional contribution to the law made by the Honourable Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE who served as Chief Justice of Australia from 1995 until his retirement in May 1998.

Previous distinguished guest lecturers have included Chief Justice Sir Gerard Brennan, Chief Justice Paul de Jersey, Hon. Justice Michael Kirby AC CMG, and Chief Justice James Spigelman AC.

Enquiries for the lecture dinner to Cherie Daye, Bond University on 0755 962057.

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