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

Welcome to Civil Liberties Australia

  • New law provides remedy to fix rights breaches

    20 September 2023

    An amended Human Rights Act for the Australian Capital Territory, tabled in September 2023, contains nation-leading clauses to ensure ’No Rights Without Remedy’ can become a model for a possible federal Human Rights Act in future. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Australia’s first HR Act, the nation’s first Human Rights Minister, Tara Cheyne, has introduced changes in the ACT so that citizens from 2024 can seek formal conciliation if there is an alleged breach of their rights by the bureaucracy, which has a positive duty whenever possible to act consistently with human rights.  She also praised CLA and Chris Stamford for our work in helping to make positive change happen,

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  • Security czars grab more power over spooks

    20 September 2023

    The security czars are playing fast and loose with the spook agencies – and, of course, the Australian people – in a power play occurring around the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. The end result could be more and deeper secrets kept, less public transparency, writes Paul Gregoire.

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  • Oz needs dedicated wrongful convictions body

    1 September 2023
    Each month produces new stories of judicial errors, forensics misunderstandings, and failures-to-disclose by police and DPPs which amount to a log of systemic errors leading to wrongful convictions. Throughout Australia, there’s a growing call for a Criminal Cases Review Commission. Academics Hamer and Dyer explain the issues.
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  • CLArion Sept 2023: Rights & more equal voting on the way

    1 September 2023CLArion Sept 2023:  Rights & more equal voting on the way
    The governing Labor Party solidified its support for a federal Human Rights Act, and also committed to more equal voting rights for the ACT and the NT, in positive outcomes from its recent platform-setting conference. Crunch time for the Voice referendum approaches as judges start to speak out on a variety of issues just as Australia gets a new Chief Justice. Other highlights this month include:
    • STOP PRESS: Drumgold suit highlights need for radical justice reform
    • New research aims to help young people build the nation
    • World forensic messes will be top of mind in near future
    • Whistleblowers get pro-bono help from HRLC
    • Down the mine? Or down the gurgled? McGowan moves
    • Which state has the cruellest prison regime?
    • Toys for Qld police boys, but kids locked in watch houses
    • MLC Webb calls for inquiry to prove justice is fair in Tassie
    • US county tackles racism as a public health issue
    • Hall gets big payout in NZ for wrongful conviction

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  • Upper House MP calls for independent inquiry into SNF case

    25 August 2023Upper House MP calls for independent inquiry into SNF case

    Momentum continues to build for a full-on Commission of Inquiry into the wrongful conviction of Sue Neill-Fraser (photo) for murdering her husband, Bob Chappell, on a yacht in Hobart, on Australia Day 2009. Tassie Upper House MP Mike Gaffney in August 2023 again called for Attorney-General Elise Archer to appoint an interstate judge to head an inquiry. SNF has served 13 years in jail, and is on parole wearing an e-bracelet for the next nine, unless justice is achieved. Here's the Gaffney address to Parliament

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  • CLArion Aug ’23: Criminal cases body comes closer

    1 August 2023CLArion Aug ’23: Criminal cases body comes closer
    Positive action towards a national Criminal Cases Review Commission is coming closer: Australia’s AGs are expected to formally consider the concept, which works well against wrongful convictions in several other countries, for the first time at their September meeting. Meanwhile, submissions over the issue of a Human Rights Act for Australia have now been lodged, and that of CLA’s has evinced extensive praise for its comprehensiveness and its promotion of a ’No Rights Without Remedy’ approach, shortly to start being introduced in the ACT. And a positive spin-off from the Robodebt fiasco might be that secrecy is lifted around Cabinet documents that don’t deserve to be hidden. Also:
    • Will earprints prove as useful as fingerprints?
    • First female Indigenous Supreme Court judge appointed
    • State acts illegally in confining children
    • Legal bodies at last tackle sexual harassment at work
    • Time to raise the age of criminality for children to 14
    • ‘Naughty’ State keeps its citizens in the dark
    • Anderson reports on use of UK spook law
    • Fight for rights and liberties is eternal
    • Women jailed 42 years likely to be exonerated

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  • CLA calls for ‘No Rights Without Remedy’ HR Act

    26 July 2023
    CLA’s submission calling for a Human Rights Act for Australia, including ensuring there are ‘No Rights Without Remedy’, has been published on the parliament website (Sub No 51). The 31-page, easy-read submission has met with widespread praise for its comprehensiveness and how it marries the need for a national ethical infrastructure, ensures a fair go for both poor and rich, and also melds with the wellbeing Budget principle of delivering long-term improvement in the lives of citizens.
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  • Canadian court orders lawyers to own up to AI

    3 July 2023
    Artificial intelligence looms everywhere. A Canadian court has told its lawyers they must disclose when they have used AI in submissions. How many years away do you think it is that AI will actually decide innocent or guilty, and the penalty involved?
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