Next month marks Commonwealth Day (we hadn’t heard of it either), which is held on the second Monday in March every year and is “an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth’s organisations, which aim to improve the lives of its citizens”. This year the Commonwealth Day Council of NSW is promoting its lunch with an address by “controversial lawyer” (its words) Margaret Cunneen.

A brilliant lawyer who has achieved celebrity status for her ground breaking work in protecting the rights of victims of crime will be the guest speaker at this year’s Commonwealth Day lunch at Parliament House, Sydney on Monday, 14 March, 2016,” the release reads.

The theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day is “An inclusive Commonwealth,” and the NSW Council believes that Cunneen fits the bill:

This theme resonates well with Cunneen who states that inclusivity requires a mature and empathetic approach to those who have fallen victim to the uncompromising neoPuritanism that has engulfed our western society.

She will challenge the guests and society in general to resist the moral guardians of the ‘twitter sphere’ and the erosion of individual privacy.

This, Cunneen says, encourages the public shaming of people who represent something the chattering classes deem ‘temporarily unpopular’.”

The release makes no explicit reference to Cunneen’s recent and long-running battes with ICAC over secretly taped phone calls in which she told a tow-truck driver that she had sent a message to her son’s girlfriend telling her to fake chest pains to avoid a breath test after a car accident, but as it promises discussion about “the uncompromising neoPuritanism that has engulfed our western society,” we are keen for tickets.

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