WELCOME – Civil Liberties Australia

Reforming Australian prisons in the ‘second convict age’

CLA campaigns for the rights of prisoners…and for saving taxpayers’ money. We call our approach ‘smart on crime’, rather than the ‘tough on crime’ false propaganda microphoned out by politicians before elections. Their way lies bigger prisons, more prisoners, fewer people rehabilitated and much greater cost to the purses and wallet of citizens, to nor imrpoved benefit – at a time when crime is falling. This article is about CLA’s approach, and a prisoner's right to vote,\ and to to actively pursue a better education and some marketable skills through reading while locked away. CLA Vice-President Rajan Venkataraman reports.
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Dec 2019 CLArion newsletter: ASIO spins and leaks as Australia is confirmed as turning into a police-security state

Supposed ’secret’ agents pick up a megaphone to leak news which suits their world view, then dumb politicians jump on to the bandwagon created from gossamer ‘facts’. Welcome to the new police-security state that Australia is becoming. We’re losing liberties and freedoms because Ministers and Parliament no longer safeguard people's human rights. Instead, doyens of the nation’s academia and law say, they legislate ‘poorly and over-broadly’ – besotted by terrorism – when a much greater danger is domestic violence, for example. A Bill of Rights is just one fundamental needed to restore balance in our society.
  • Williams, Walker severely critical of rushed security legislations
  • Money which should go to climate change is spent on police and spooks
  • MPs learn about deadlines…and fail twice
  • Kirby warns about dangerous religious bill
  • e-petition aims to wind back draconian anti-protest provisions
  • NZ legislates for Criminal Cases Review Commission
  • God(s) freed from morning school duties
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Click for 2-COLUMN (print, read over a break)
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Our images fly interstate after secretive, private debate

The state government’s secretive sending of our driver licence photos to a mysterious national ID database has come as a rude shock to Tasmanians. What other unrevealed changes has the government imposed on our traditional liberties, rights and freedoms? 'Full transparency was promised', but where is it? Richard Griggs asks.
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Legal experts explain how Sue Neill-Fraser trial was corrupted

Two legal academics, Dr Bob Moles and Associate Professor Bibi Sangha, have critically examined the Sue Neill-Fraser conviction in Tasmania in 2010, producing a detailed analysis of factual, interpretational and inferential errors involving witnesses, the prosecution and decisions of the judge. They conclude that Neill-Fraser, now in what they believe is her 10th year of wrongful imprisonment, should be released immediately…as occurred in Victoria when a major error was identified in a trial. Victoria was able to acquit an innocent man who had been wrongfully committed one working day after error was acknowledged by the prosecution. So should it be in Tasmania, they say. Note: Bob Moles Home page on the Sue Neill-Fraser case is here: http://netk.net.au/EtterHome.asp
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Prison Minister kept in dark over secret prisoner’s 18-month jailing

So secret was the trial and jailing of the ACT’s mystery prisoner that even the territory’s Minister for Corrections, who is also Minister for Justice, did not know about the case until the story broke in the media. Minister Shane Rattenbury still does not know on what grounds he locked up a prisoner for 18 months: he doesn’t know what the prisoner was charged with, or what the prisoner was convicted of. CLA poses some questions to Commonwealth authorities, including Supreme Courts.
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CLA leads opposition to draconian anti-protest laws

The Tasmanian government is having another crack at introducing Australia’s worst – and most expensive, for citizens – anti-protest laws. The High Court threw out their first attempt. Now an ‘openly deceptive’ government is trying to sneak in laws which would instantly turn minor peaceful protest almost anywhere in Tasmania into a major crime. You can sign the e-petition.
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Tas govt breaches election promise, introduces ‘Silence’ bill

The Tasmanian government is again reneging on a promise, this time over a proposed new protest law, introducing massive penalties to restrict genuine protest by concerned citizens along with draconian provisions for police to enforce. Indpendents in Parliament must reject this ‘outrageous law’, CLA’s Tasmanian Director Richard Griggs says.
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Police internal investigations: like bankers probing bankers

It’s time to end the unfair practice of the same police force investigating shooting deaths, alleged stun gun abuse, police car chase fatal accidents and major complaints about police behaviour. CLA believes citizens will never get justice from police ”internal” affairs probes until the “internal” bit is replaced by independent investigators and other representing a civil liberties and human rights viewpoint. The time to change is now.
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Citizen and media freedom demands govt openness

For all its rhetoric, the Tasmanian government in practice does not enable citizen and media freedom, secretly surveils its citizens, and refuses to properly fund, staff and facilitate Right To Information processes. MPs should shed their party blinkers and stand up for the people, against myopic Ministers and secretive bureaucrats.
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Nov 2019 CLArion newsletter: At last, the tide of repressive laws appears to have turned – now for rebalancing liberties

The first glimmers of light have emerged for and end to draconian anti-terror laws, and a concerted community push to ensure freedom of the press. A parliamentary committee has sent a bill back for re-drafting. Rallies throughout Australia, backed by civil liberties, human rights and lawyer groups, are highlighting how perverse is the government’s continuing persecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery. And at last a long-quiescent media has woken up to its responsibilities to safeguard all of our freedoms, including freedom of the press. We suddenly live in greater hope.
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Police ‘chats’ are the sharp edge of a thinning wedge

If your local police are in a chatty mood, do you have to converse with them? Peter Karasavas was unnerved by an unusual approach he witnessed, then experienced as a pedestrian. Federal MP Andrew Wilkie has warned we’re headed towards being a police state – is this what the future looks like?
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Direct action needed to save medevac system

Dr Kerryn Phelps is calling for direct and urgent action to convince Senators, particularly Jacquie Lambie, to not pass a bill which would remove the medevac protective system of treatment for refugees with emergency physical or medical health problems on Nauru or Manus islands. Diana Simmons reports.
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