Law, drugs and viral hepatitis: opportunities for advocacy and reform

SSAC Adjunct and ARC DECRA Fellow Dr Kate Seear was an invited keynote speaker at the 10th Australasian Viral Hepatitis conference on the Gold Coast, Queensland, on 30th September 2016. The conference is the leading multidisciplinary conference on viral hepatitis in Australasia. It brings together researchers, peer advocates and practitioners from across the region to discuss developments in and challenges facing the field. Drawing upon her expertise in law and social sciences, Kate’s presentation examined how the law and practices of lawyering shape the size and scale of blood borne virus (BBV) epidemics. Notably, Kate’s keynote came shortly after ACT prison staff had voted against establishing a prison needle and syringe program, and amidst debates over what advocates might do next. Drawing on developments in other parts of the world, including developments in strategic human rights litigation, Kate concluded with a series of reflections on how lawyers, peer advocates, health workers and academics could work together to better advocate for the rights of people who use drugs, people understood to be experiencing ‘addictions’, people living with or at risk of BBVs and other marginalised groups. You can read Kate’s keynote in full by clicking on the link below.

SSAC event Suzanne & Kate