Presented by Sydney Writers’ Festival, Arts Projects Australia & City Recital Hall

Philippe Sands’ award-winning book East West Street explores the creation and development of world-changing legal concepts that came about as a result of the unprecedented atrocities of Hitler’s Third Reich. Winner of the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, the book is a uniquely personal exploration of the origins of international law, centring on the Nuremberg Trials, the city of Lviv and a secret family history – it is also the inspiration for Sands' critically acclaimed music and spoken word recital East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil.

Philippe Sands sits down with Julian Burnside for a conversation about Sands' award-winning book, his extraordinary performance piece East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil, and his work as an international human rights lawyer. 


Philippe Sands (England)


Philippe Sands is an international lawyer and a professor of law at University College London. He is the author of the award-winning book East West Street, Lawless World and Torture Team and is a frequent commentator on CNN and the BBC World Service. Sands lectures around the world and has taught at New York University and been a visiting professor at the University of Toronto, the University of Melbourne, and the Université de Paris I (Sorbonne). In 2003 he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel. He lives in London.

Julian Burnside (Australia )

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Julian Burnside AO QC is an Australian barrister who specialises in commercial litigation and is also deeply involved in human rights work, in particular in relation to refugees.

He is a former president of Liberty Victoria, and is also passionately involved in the arts: he is the chair of Melbourne arts venue fortyfivedownstairs, and is chair of the Mietta Foundation.

He has published a children’s book, Matilda and the Dragon, as well as Wordwatching, a collection of essays on the uses and abuses of the English language, and Watching Brief: reflections on human rights, law, and justice. He is also the editor of From Nothing to Zero, a compilation of letters written by asylum-seekers held in Australia’s detention camps.