The Modern Slavery Act Review: Can the law drive meaningful change? – Law School: Events The Modern Slavery Act Review: Can the law drive meaningful change? – Law School: Events

The Modern Slavery Act Review: Can the law drive meaningful change?

The Modern Slavery Act Review: Can the law drive meaningful change?

In-person event

In May this year, the Government tabled a report on the findings of the statutory review of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018. The Review, led by Professor John McMillan AO, made 30 recommendations to strengthen the Act. If the recommendations are adopted, it will mark the first mandatory human rights due diligence law in Australia, reflecting the rapidly changing legislative landscape internationally.

What does a strengthened Modern Slavery Act mean for reporting entities, including the higher education sector? Can legislative reform drive meaningful change for people vulnerable to modern slavery in Australia, such as international students and migrant workers?

The event will explore the unique role of academic research and universities in partnering with government, civil society and business to drive meaningful action on addressing modern slavery.

Opening remarks by the Australian Ambassador to Counter Modern Slavery, People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, Ms Lynn Bell.

Ambassador Bell is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Crisis Preparedness and Management Branch. She has previously served as a Senior Adviser at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and overseas in Papua New Guinea. Ms Bell holds a Master of Public Administration from University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Technology Sydney.

Keynote address by Professor John McMillan, AO, author of the Modern Slavery Act Review.

Professor McMillan is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, where he taught administrative and constitutional law from 1983-2003. He is a co-author of Control of Government Action: Text, Cases and Commentary (2022, 6th ed). John has held the statutory positions of Commonwealth Ombudsman (2003-10), Integrity Commissioner (Acting) for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (2007), Australian Information Commissioner (2010-15), NSW Ombudsman (Acting) (2015-17), and member of the Australian Copyright Tribunal (2015-17).

Panel Discussion

Through diverse perspectives and expert insights, the panel will provide practical takeaways on the implications of the Modern Slavery Act Review in the context of wider legislative and policy changes in Australia and abroad.

About the speakers

Professor Jennifer Burn AM

Professor Burn is a lawyer and Director of Anti-Slavery Australia at UTS, a specialist legal practice, research and policy centre committed to the abolition of modern slavery in Australia. Jennifer received an Order of Australia this year for her significant service to anti-slavery and migration law. She has also been awarded the 2016 UTS Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Medal for Research Impact and the 2020 Law Council of Australia Outstanding Migration Lawyer of the Year. Jennifer serves on the Australian Government National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and was the Interim NSW Anti-Slavery Commissioner from 2018 to 2020. Jennifer sits on the Mercy Foundation Board and is a member of the Advisory Group for the Centre for Research on Modern Slavery (CReMS) at the University of Auckland.

Associate Professor Anna Boucher

Anna Boucher (PhD, LSE) is an Associate Professor in Political Science and Chair of the Discipline of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney as well as a practising solicitor. Her work covers comparative immigration data, immigration policy, diversity and immigration and labour exploitation. Her most recent book, Patterns of Exploitation: Migrant Worker Rights Violations in Advanced Democracies (Oxford University Press: New York, 2023) explores migrant worker rights violations in four countries and six labour law jurisdictions over a twenty-year period. She is an advisor to the Australian, Canadian and British governments, alongside international agencies such as the ILO, OECD and World Bank on immigration and labour market issues.

Esty Marcu

Esty is the Director of the University of Sydney’s Modern Slavery Unit, where she leads the University’s strategic response to modern slavery and enables academic excellence on business and human rights. She also lectures at the Sydney Business School on shared value and inclusive business models. Esty is on the Advisory Panel for the NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner and the Board of Trustees for Electronics Watch, supporting public buyers to address human rights risks in the electronics industry. She has previously worked in both the Commonwealth and NSW state government advising on complex public policy issues, including temporary migration, refugee settlement, international development and health policy. She was the Co-founder and Director of Project Girl Code, a non-profit providing digital literacy and coding skills to trafficking survivors in Cambodia.

Moderator: Professor Simon Bronitt

Professor Simon Bronitt is the Head of School and Dean of Sydney Law School commencing July 2019. In 2021, he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. Drawing on comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives, Professor Bronitt has published widely on criminal justice topics ranging across terrorism law and human rights, comparative criminal law, covert policing, family violence, and mental health policing. Recent publications include Rape Law in Context (The Federation Press, 2018), Principles of Criminal Law (4th ed, Thomson Reuters 2017) and Law in Context (4th ed, The Federation Press, 2012).

Friday 13 October

Time: 1-2.30pm

Venue: Law Foyer, Level 2, New Law Building (F10)


This event is proudly co-presented by Sydney Law School and the Modern Slavery Unit at the University of Sydney.


Oct 13 2023


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

More Info



Law Foyer, Level 2
New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney (Camperdown Campus)


Professional Learning & Community Engagement
02 9351 0248

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