Once mass vaccination eases the pandemic, laws need correcting to restore democracy, civil liberties and human rights to Australians, CLA says. When C-19 broke out, our rulers first abandoned parliaments, which stopped meeting entirely. Then draconian emergency laws empowered politicians and police to act virtually without restraint. Soon, instantly imposed regulations, stemming from the unbridled emergency powers, saw us all locked in our homes, unable to work, travel cross-town or interstate ,or even choose to travel overseas, and with no prospect of tribunal or court appeal around special individual circumstances. Once the panic is over, we must restore Australians’ freedoms and liberties by demanding meaningful Human Rights Acts throughout the nation.
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It sounds so simple, just adopt an ID card that you must carry with you everywhere to ‘sign in’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. But how quickly would surveillance-creep go viral, and your movements be subjected to watching and recording every second of every day, all year, everywhere, by the police, spooks and governments? Massive safeguards are needed to protect our privacy and our private information, CLA says.
Are Australians losing liberties under the pandemic? There’s a strict, legal answer…and then the practical reality of what’s occurring. But the real lesson is that only eternal vigilance – and a federal Human Rights Act – will protect our freedoms. ‘The struggle for civil liberties is a journey that’s never ending,’ former High Court judge, Michael Kirby, says.
ACT Bar Association Vice-President Jack Pappas has defended the organisation’s support of Bernard Collaery, the Canberra barrister caught up in a political prosecution authorised by former federal Attorney-General Christian Porter. The ACT Bar called for the case against Collaery to be dropped, Pappas says, as recently as April 2021.
Was Operation Ironside illegal under Australian law? There is doubt, created by the AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw, whether the much ballyhooed Operation Ironside was carried out according to the law of the land. The first duty of our police is to obey the law, even before enforcing it. We need open and honest answers rather than confuseed bluster and PR spin, CLA says.