Melbourne Forum gives you access to the highest level of expertise and real-world lessons that our conversation leaders – all with a reputation for excellence – bring to the table under the Chatham House rule.

We are committed to providing a platform for, and the increased visibility of, diverse voices.

With varied formats (in-person or virtual; conversation leader or members engaging with each other; learning from experts or exploring viewpoints) there are multiple ways to participate.

Explore our upcoming program of events and forums.

Loading Events

« All Events


March 23, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free – $25
Event Categories:


A Zoom event under Chatham House rule
  • This event has passed.

Independent Institutions – Why The State Shouldn’t Try to Control Everything Even When It Thinks It Should

MF Digital with Sir Thomas Winsor

Hosted by:
Simela Karasavidis

March 23, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Free – $25

Government today is far more complex, and reaches far further and deeper into our lives than ever before.  And that’s power.  Citizens in democracies grant power to the institutions of their states, usually politicians, under conditions.  In many cases, they insist on firebreaks and firewalls, to prevent undue political interference.  Often it’s necessary that decisions which require objective – usually economic or civil liberties criteria (simply, fairness) – are taken according to criteria which aren’t – or are appropriately distant from – pure (usually short-term) political ones.  And so they require independent institutions.  Amongst them of course are the judiciary, the police and economic and safety regulators.  So far, so good.  But, having set up them up, the politicians often get restless, and itchy for the powers of those independent bodies.  Sometimes they’re jealous of their powers.  And so, too often, that independence comes under undue pressure.  And that’s where the trouble really begins.

Sir Tom Winsor has been a lawyer since 1981, mostly as a partner in major international law firms in the City of London.  Between 1999 and 2004, he held public office as the Rail Regulator and International Rail Regulator, the economic regulator for the national railway system.  Between 2012 and 2022, he was again in public office as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, overseeing the efficiency and effectiveness of the 50 police and law enforcement agencies of most of the UK.  Both were independent offices, and both came under political pressure.

This is a rare and special opportunity to have an International conversation leader all the way from London.

Please to RSVP

Please to book tickets

Tickets are not available as this event has passed.