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2021 Gandhi Oration | On Forgiveness

George Williams and Martha Minow

In the 2021 Gandhi Oration, Martha Minow, Harvard Law Professor and human rights expert, spoke with with George Williams, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Anthony Mason Professor of Law, UNSW Sydney, on the complicated intersection of law, justice and forgiveness. 

Can forgiveness play a more powerful role? Who has the right to forgive? And who should be forgiven?  

I think the decision to forgive when it’s made mindfully, deliberately, without coercion, is an expression of strength, it’s not an expression of weakness. It is a decision to make a choice about how I want to live my life.

Martha Minow


Since 2012 the annual Gandhi Oration has been hosted by UNSW Sydney to celebrate the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi as a champion of human rights. The event features discussions of the significant human rights issues of our time. Past speakers have included Senator Pat Dodson, Peter Greste, Pat Anderson, Shoma Chaudhury Reverend Tim Costello, Rosie Batty and Shen Narayanasamy.

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