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

All wrongs should be righted: O’Gorman

Throughout Australia, liberties and rights campaigners are using the Kathleen Folbigg pardon to highlight the need for a criminal cases review commission. Here, eminent civil libertarian and lawyer Terry O’Gorman explains why a CCRC is needed, and how one for Australia as a whole would work.

Acquitting Sue Neill-Fraser in Tas should be next

CLA is delighted modern forensic science has freed Kathleen Folbigg from jail and the the guilt of murdering her babies. Now it is time that up-to-date forensics in 2023 re-examine the Tasmanian case of Sue Neill-Fraser for previously tested and never tested evidence samples. SNF served 13 years in jail, is out on monitored parole for the next 10 years…and continues to maintain her innocence in what CLA believes was a wrongful conviction.

CLArion June ’23: Human Rights sub close at end of June; AAT re-forming

30 June is the last day to prepare a submission on a proposed federal Human Rights law. Please get your supportive sub in, even if only a letter, or a short comment. Meanwhile, AG Mark Dreyfus is reforming the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, appointing a new head and planning new appointments, based on merit. The ACT is raising the Minimum Age of Responsibility for Children to 14, and will join SA, Tasmania, Victoria and WA with a legislated second and subsequent ‘Right To Appeal’ where there’s a substantial miscarriage of justice. Also in this issue:

  • ’Solomon’ Sofronoff sharpening sword in Lehrmann-Higgins inquiry
  • Failure To Disclose, again: Home Affairs hides VERA-2R report
  • extremists on both sides seek prominence to help recruiting
  • State’s police exhibit long-term culture of non-compliance with the law
  • Forensics: boost in one state, another state needs overseas help
  • Freed Austic dudded on compensation, despite court finding he was framed
  • Territory moves to reform an ICAC that isn’t working properly
  • Letters: Is Camilla divine? Detention cost is absurd
  • Death row inmate given last gasp stay of execution
  • Juries may have had their day

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Can a WellBeing Budget complement human rights

How is Australia improving – or otherwise – as a nation and a society? Are we becoming a fairer, more equal place to live, concentrating on what produces better outcomes for people? Is our traditional narrow focus on GDP doing us a disservice as a people? CLA’s HR Campaign Manager

CLArion May 2023: time to make Human Rights Act submision

More details are emerging on how public consultation over a Human Rights Act for Australia will get under way: you can express your support in a submission to the parliamentary committee by 1 July 2023, so please do, even if it is just a one-page letter. Meanwhile, secret trials, indefinite detenton, vague laws, forensics problems and more Indigenous people being jailed are among the concerns in this issue, not to mention a swathe of government departments and agencies failing to act, acting inappropriately of refusing to meet mandatory deadlines for providing public information to the people they supposedly serve.

Social justice: 8 factors increase jail risk

Research by two eminent UNSW academics has proven that Australia has ‘a criminal justice system that is far from just’. In simple words, they outline the problems clearly and precisely, and call on governments and agencies trhoughout Australia to become more accountable for their actions, and inaction.

CLArion April 2023: Human Rights Act in place in 2024?

clarionThe Australian Parliament wants to know whether Australia should have a Human Rights Act (HRA)…which could be enacted by December 2024. The Committee on Human Rights invites submissions until 1 July 2023, then will hold hearings until December 2023, reporting to the Parliament by 31 March 2024. That would leave nine months for the Albanese government to legislate a federal HRA for Australia in 2024, before the next national election, likely in early 2025. CLA has been one of the most active campaigners for a HRA over the past three years and, with other activists and supporters, is celebrating interim success. Some 73% of Australians support Australia having a HRA: just 3% oppose one.

Continuing an Eagar tradition

Stephen Langford faces a magistrate’s court in Sydney in April…simply for fleshing out more of the history of one of the first governors of NSW, Lachlan Macquarie. CLA is hoping the magistrate’s gives him the same type of second chance Governor Macquarie gave to Edward Eagar some 200 years ago,

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