Professor Helen Alvaré | When Freedoms Collide

June 04, 2014

Professor Helen Alvaré


What are our options?

A society that values freedom of thought will inevitably find itself at the intersection of competing views of freedom. What we do then will show us what we really value.

Join us as Professor Helen Alvaré sparks a discussion on how we maintain a society that is both safe and open to all.

Should a pacifist be forced to go to war? Should religious groups always be allowed to dress according to their culture and faith? Should parents be forced to give their child medical treatment that runs contrary to their beliefs?




HELEN ALVARÉ is a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, where she is also the faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal. Beyond the University, she is the chair of the Task Force on Conscience Protection of the Witherspoon Institute, a consultor for the Pontifical Council of the Laity, and cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations as a speaker and a delegate to various United Nations conferences.

In addition to her publications in law reviews and other academic journals, Professor Alvaré is an ABC news consultant and publishes regularly at, and in news outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Examiner. She also speaks at academic and professional conferences in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Watch her Lecture on YouTube below:

Click here to read the 2014 Sir John Graham Lecture & Q+A monograph.

Sir John Graham

Since 2008, the annual Sir John Graham has provided a unique opportunity to hear leading experts contribute to public debate in New Zealand.

Sir John Graham was an exemplary New Zealander who throughout his life displayed the consistency of character and care for others we hope for in the best of our leaders. Along with his well-known leadership roles as Captain of the All Blacks, Headmaster of Auckland Grammar, and Chancellor of the University of Auckland, Sir John inspired and led many organisations, including Maxim Institute.

Appropriately, he was recognised with a CBE in 1994 for his services to education and the community, and was further honoured when he was knighted in 2011. As a Founding Trustee of Maxim, Sir John Graham’s deep love for New Zealand, his passion for education, and concern for those on the margins of life remain at the heart of our work, and we are honoured to be able to hold this annual lecture in his name.

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