Judge in Nazi war crime case to speak at ALA WA Conference

12th Aug 2013

A highly respected judge, who deliberated on an Australian man’s potential deportation for Nazi war crimes, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Australian Lawyers Alliance WA Conference on Friday.

Justice Neil McKerracher QC, who had a distinguished career working as Corruption and Crime Commission Commissioner in Western Australia and for many years as a silk at the Bar, will speak from 9.30am on Friday at the Hyatt Regency, Perth.

In Zentai and the Minister for Home Affairs 2012, his Honour was the judge at first instance, whose 2010 judgment was upheld in the full Federal Court and later the High Court of Australia on the issue of Charles Zentai.

Charles Zentai was an elderly Australian citizen accused (many decades after the fact) of a war crime of murder of a young Jewish soldier in Hungary in 1944.

A magistrate ordered the extradition to Hungary of Mr Zentai and this was sanctioned by the Minister, but in proceedings for the legal argument of Mandamus and Certiorari before Judge McKerracher the extradition order by the Minister was discharged.

In addition to Zentai’s case, Justice McKerracher has had to decide many asylum seeker cases at an appellate level.

“The WA branch of the ALA is delighted that His Honour has agreed to deliver the keynote address at this year’s annual conference on the 16th August 2013,” ALA WA State President, Tom Percy QC, said.

“The ALA is also able to confirm the appearance of leading WA radio 6PR host, Steve Mills, at the conference. Mr Mills will speak on the topic of The Role of Media in Shaping Public Opinion, while Justice McKerracher will discuss, Why 'Matter' Matters: Protecting Individual Rights with Declaratory Relief in the Federal Jurisdiction.

"Bullying in the workplace is another huge current issue and we are extremely fortunate to have Anna Casellas from Clayton Utz speaking at the conference this year,” Mr Percy said.

Other topics covered in this year’s program include: The Impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme; An Overview of WA Truth in Sentencing Legislation; a Contempt of Court session; and a session on International Visitors and the Assessment of Damages; WA silk Chris Shannahan SC and Ian Weldon, editor of Criminal Law in WA Loose Leaf Service.

Tags: Western Australia