Earlier this year, Philip Ruddock declared his intention to retire from politics after a 42-year career. As ‘Father of the House’ – the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives in Canberra – Ruddock has served in Fraser, Howard and Abbott/Turnbull governments, as a key player in several turbulent and transformative periods of Australian politics. Best known as the architect of the controversial ‘Pacific Solution’ during his time as Immigration Minister in the Howard era, Ruddock has also been a vocal advocate on several human rights issues, especially the abolition of the death penalty.
After the election, Ruddock will take up a new role as Australia’s Special Envoy for Human Rights. As Ruddock opens a new chapter, and Australia seeks a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for 2018, what are Ruddock’s aspirations and priorities in the role – and how does he respond to criticism of his new position? Hear from this elder statesman of the Australian conservative movement, in the first days of his post-political life.
In conversation with Sally Warhaft, Ruddock discusses human rights, the death penalty, and the changing Australian political landscape. You can listen to the podcast now.