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

CLArion May 2021: Interstate squabbling means children suffer

Squabbling and politicking over ‘law and order’ elections is preventing states and the Northern Territory agreeing to set 14 as the Age of Criminal Responsibility for children, proving that federation is a waste of time, money and resources if we want a national approach to justice in the 120-year-old entity that is Australia. Meanwhile federally ministers are wasting billions of dollars locking up refugees and children on offshore islands, just so the government can maintain an anachronistic political ideology, and taking to court patriotic Australians whose only sin was to reveal alleged murders and grossly improper behaviour by public servants.

Other articles in this issue include:

  • War powers: one party promises inquiry if elected
  • Problems with Defence wider than veteran suicides
  • Judges’ reputations suffer as public interest goes unweighed
  • Why is David McBride the only soldier before a court?
  • ‘Jail is the new mental health asylum’ says GP
  • Scary Stokes puts the frighteners on, VC winner alleges
  • DPP goes to the dogs
  • Call to ban police from remote communities
  • Innocent people on police ‘bad dude’ database…forever
  • Ageism in sights of world human rights and health bodies

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Reining in the ’national security’ secrecy claims in courts

Not very long ago, a secret prisoner was discovered quite by chance in the ACT jail (even the ACT Prisons/Justice Minister did not know he was there). The prisoner, given the pseudonym ‘Alan Johns’, was a victim of being tried in secret under “national security” legislation. The laws that enable that abuse of his rights, and the rights of all Australians to know what happens in the courts, is now under detailed scrutiny by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Grant Donaldson. Here is CLA’s submission (authored by VP Rajan Venkataraman) to the process, and the separate sub of CLA member Kathryn Kelly also.

CLArion April 2021: Bipartisan bid to restore power to Parliament

An unlikely pairing of two Liberal and Labor politicians are using the Senate Scrutiny Committee to rein in the ever-expanding power of ‘Executive’ Ministers producing legislation – about half of all Australian laws – that can change and expand under ‘regulations’ at the government’s whim, with the Parliament having no review powers over them. The Senators have taken the first step in restoring properly-balanced power between the Executive, the Judiciary and Parliament, as the Australian Constitution says it should be.

Declaration of the CLA AGM held in 2021

eAGMThis is the formal declaration of the results of the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Civil Liberties Australia held electronically and by post, with voting occurring in March 2021. The attached item gives details of the voting to approve (or not approve) formal documents relating to the 2020 calendar year, and of Board Members elected for the period to early 2023.

Six civil groups want anti-protest laws voted down

Six organisations – including Civil Liberties Australia – are calling on Tasmanian Legislative Councillors to vote against the government’s proposed anti-protest laws because they are undemocratic, illiberal, unjust, dangerous and technically flawed. The upper house debate is due on Wednesday 24 March 2021. Among other flaws, the laws aim to silence the community, CLA’s Tasmanian Director Richard Griggs says.

The Arm of the Law, the Arms of the Clock

At the height of pandemic panic in 2020, a top national body tried to tell people which way to turn when exercising around a lake. The advice turned out to be superfluous and useless…but it raised the basic question of how far can governments make you go, and in what direction?

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