Civil Liberties Australia

Promoting people's rights and civil liberties. It is non-party political and independent of other organisations.
Civil Liberties Australia

Civil Liberties Australia

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  • CLArion April 2024: HR Act report postponed

    1 April 2024

    CLA CLArion Monthly newsletterThe tabling date for a major report into Australia’s human rights framework has been postponed by two months, to 30 May 2024. The report, after 14 months' analysis by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, is expected to detail the full benefits that could accrue by modernising and improving the framework. In particular it is likely to discuss how to avoid more illegal Robodebt claims, ancient fines resurrected by the ATO and similar bureaucratic fiascos. Better empowering citizens in the long run could enhance trust in parliament, politicians, government and Australian democracy itself. Also, in contrasting approaches reported this month, the ATO is planning to take over government digital communications even as another parliamentary committee tries to rein in government IT projects to prevent waste.

    Other items in April include:

    • Judges acquit more often than juries do
    • Security Monitor flags possible winding back of terror law
    • Health suffers as rights decline
    • Top Aussie judge’s main concern is passage of an expensive camel
    • Senator prods government over promised improvements
    • ACT appoints new DPP: was appointment process flawed?
    • CLA wants secret ‘mafia’ evidence released
    • Shield may no longer protect gun manufacturers
    • French entrench abortion right in Constitution

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  • CLArion March 2024: Forensics & genetics under closer scrutiny

    1 March 2024

    By the end of the month, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus should have in his hands the report of the special parliament committee which has inquired into Australia’s human rights framework for the past year. As that happens, rights related to forensic quality and how genetic testing can be used against us are coming to the fore. The Defence Department is trying for the second time in a decade to restrict and control the communication rights of research scientists. And, in a fascinating twist, the High Court will soon be asked to consider whether missing parts turn a body into something else, legally.

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  • Fair Go: Human Rights right around Australia

    11 February 2024Fair Go: Human Rights right around Australia

    How close is Australia to having Human Rights Acts nationwide? Here’s a rundown by CLA President Dr Kristine Klugman. Her status report comes just as the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights is about to recommend a new federal framework for Australia’s national human rights regime. But all states and territories have active groups working to improve citizens' access to a fair go in their own bailiwick.

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  • CLArion Feb 2024: Human Rights report near finalised, ready

    1 February 2024

    February is a key month for human rights in Australia. Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights is finalising its report and recommendations after a year-long inquiry into the nation's human rights framework. Chair Josh Burns is due to hand the blueprint for the future to the Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, by the end of March. Many issues in this CLArion will be top of mind as this report changes hands. They include treatment of Indigenous Australians, forensic disasters in laboratories and courtrooms, secrecy across government, and questionable cultures like those permeating police forces and others breeding in newly-emerging far-right groups. The crucial issue of homelessness is also likely to feature strongly.

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  • Bike-riding equation comes out negative?

    4 January 2024

    Much-ballyhoed bike ’safety’ claims look somewhat different when subjected to a ‘whole-of-life(style)’ analysis by dedicated research Colin Clarke.  Do helmets lead to immobility and obesity, at a greater cost to public health than accepting accidents will happen whenever you poke your nose into the great outdoors? Why have $15 fines become $240 (when they should be about $35) and become a new way for police abuse by selecting poor citizens for harassment?

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  • CLArion JANUARY 2024: Human Rights come into closer focus

    1 January 2024

    Throughout Australia, politicians and advocates are increasingly acknowledging that embedded core values and standards are the bedrock of our society’s now and future well-being and prosperity. They drive trust and respect for each other and for our institutions, without which we disintegrate into disaffected camps focused selfishly, rather than on common challenges and the public good in times of stress. In other nations, these fundamental principles stand on the pillars of federal and state/territory human rights Acts. There are significant signs in this issue of the CLArion that Australia is headed in a firmly positive direction over the coming years towards a better and more rightful future for all of us.

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  • CLArion Dec 2023: Big year ahead for elections

    1 December 2023

    Elections throughout Australia will loom large in 2024, with four or even five possible. Their combined effect could alter the rigid two-party hegemony over the nation that has lasted across a century. Meanwhile federally, thinking politicians, advisers and academics realise that active steps are needed to restore integrity in the bureaucracy and people’s faith and trust in government. With doubts in the justice system about whether forensic science is delivering on its past promise, and whether the legal profession plays by the rules in courts, we’re in for bumpy ride in 2024.

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  • CLArion Nov 2023: CLA outlines Rights/Remedy imperative

    1 November 2023

    CLA explained in detail in October to the parliamentary inquiry into rights precisely why Australia needed to create a national Human Rights Act, to achieve a ‘Fair Go' for everybody and to help rebuild social capital and expand the national integrity network after years of significant stress. In examples of failed moral codes, the nation is paying Indonesian boat kids for our falsely classifying them as adults, just as Australia begins a new round of renditioning – kidnapping – asylum seeks to Nauru.

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