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The WA Government has fired the first blunderbus shot in turning the March state poll into a 'Law and Order' election, CLA's WA Director, Rex Widerstrom, told ABC Radio today. They propose a draconian tracking device plan for people released from prison after serving their time. But the scheme won't stop people committing arson and creating bushfires, or stop domestic violence. It's simply a bid to appear 'tough on crime'.
Religious organisations should not have an automatic right to discriminate, Civil Liberties Australia says. Instead, there needs to be an independent mechanism in place to balance competing interests and make decisions case-by-case. The ABC carried a debate on the topic, including comment from CLA's National Media Director Tim Vines.
'No taxation without free choice of personal peccadilloes' should be the new catch-cry of smokers, says a CLA member partial to a puff. He's incensed by the hypocrisy of political bullies happy to rake in tax revenue from smokers. And another similar mob now claims the merest wisp of 'sidestream' smoke will kill you: lord knows how we're all still alive, given the smoke of dubious origin clouding our cities and towns from this summer's bushfires.
Should the High Court place more emphasis on the rights that Australians 'absorb' because we have ratified international conventions. Chief Justice Robert French seems to be throwing out a strong hint in a speech he gave at the opening of the Brisbane law court complex.
Rather than making their first recourse the banning or penalising of human activity, academics should seek constructive ways to help empower people to live fuller lives freer of restrictions, CLA's Rex Widerstrom says. It's time academia paid as much attention to civil liberties as they do to arcane – and sometimes erroneous – interpretations of data, he said.
Bruno Marevich, a senior naturopath whose entire life is concern for health, was shocked at Gold Coast airport to be suddenly forced to undergo full body scanning and radiation exposure…under threat of instant detention, a fine, possibly jail and then a criminal record if he refused to submit to the new government dictate.
No political party should gag the freedom of speech of its candidates – that's un-Australian as well an unconstitutional, CLA's WA Director Rex Widerstrom says in a media release. His comments follow a Liberal HQ order curtailing what candidates may and may not comment on in the lead-up to the WA election on 9 March 2013.
The NZ High Court has delivered an unexpected puff of freedom of choice to the inmates of Auckland Prison. They can, from now, smoke...something they were barred from doing 18 months ago by regulation. The High Court said the way the ban was brought in was not legal, so those who have kicked the habit by force will now have a tough choice to make over this Christmas period. The Auckland ruling is expected to apply in virtually all NZ jails. The NZ Government will have to pass new legislation to reinstate the ban.
A Senate Committee should reject totally the deceitfully-named 'Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012', CLA says. It is not needed, has dumb and dangerous definitions, would create more problems than it solved, and would effectively censor the free speech of Australians. Enact a Bill of Rights to solve the problems...or at least do no harm, is CLA's recommendation.
As Santa Claus begins his happy rounds, the statistics people are surprising harassed Christmas Mums with a snap and mandatory survey on energy and consumption. Give it a break, ABS! Surely you can leave people alone over the holiday period.
"The number and variety of threats to civil liberties of Australians during 2012 approached almost unprecedented levels," says John Roskam, head of the Institute of Public Affairs. When commentators from all sides of politics start sounding warnings, it's time our MPs started to listen. Traditional freedoms, and the Aussie 'fair go' way of speech and life, are under siege from politicians who have abandoned principle for point-scoring.
She's at it again, the woman who heads Australia's Thought Police. Now Tricky Nicky Roxon, our AG and the Commissar of Canberra's 'Can't' Cabal, wants to stop us being Aussies and using colourful language. She's proposing new anti-discrimination laws that will slash freedom of speech, and take the 'OI' out of boisterous debate. Let's tell her to get out of our heads – we don't need more laws!
Australia seems to be facing increasing miscarriages of justice cases: people who are not guilty are jailed for years, sometimes decades, the guilty go free, and relatives suffer major trauma, sometimes twice and thrice over. CLA member Barbara Etter – with law, police, and other formal integrity and academic qualifications – calls for police to change their prime investigative model, and for governments to create Criminal Cases Review Commissions, in this topical address to the ANZ Society of Criminology.
The Royal Commission into Abused Children will run into a minefield of conflicting rights and law: rules of evidence and of witnesses (including, perhaps, children), rights of the child, of religion and religions, of private counsellors. Kirsty Magarey explores this complex world that the drafters of terms of reference are wrestling with, pointing out that how the RCAC is set up will be crucial in determining how well it can do its job.
Lloyd Rayney is innocent, a judge has ruled, in a high-profile murder case in WA...but not so the police. Judge Brian Martin has been scathing of police behaviour in the case, and so far no officer has been called to account. Former WA Police Assistant Commissioner Barbara Etter analyses the judge's comments.