WELCOME – Civil Liberties Australia

Does Australia need a separate Integrity Branch?

It’s useful to review old critiques when new ones emerge, particularly to see if time has changed what’s important. Here’s a 2017 paper on integrity bodies. It suggests that, to secure funding against a recalcitrant Executive government, there should be a “special branch” of integrity agencies that get rum and rations directly from Parliament. What a good idea! Bring on a national ICAC with teeth.
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Restoring trust: CLA calls for two initiatives to win back the people

CLA will appear before the Inquiry into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy on Friday 13 November 2020. The inquiry is being held by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee. In its submission, CLA has told the committee two initiatives are needed to win back the trust of the people of Australia in our federal parliament: a National Anti-Corrupt Commission, with robust powers to investigate the actions or inactions of politicians and bureaucrats, and a bill of rights to power to the people enforce their liberties and freedoms when government tries to take them away.
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How police first response skews mental health treatment

How we turn out first responders to emergency mental health situations colours the entire way people with drug-health problems are then treated, Bill Bush says. We need to learn lessons from other countries whose systems are much more helpful to people regaining their health and place in the community.
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Brewery party! But don’t ask ASIO to organise it

Longtime security shenanigans observer, Jack Waterford, says giving executive power to ASIO was a big mistake, and exposes the hypocrisy of its recent claim to be offended by critical comments in relation to its China briefings, which compromise our diplomatic efforts.
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October 2020 CLArion newsletter: keeping liberties in emergencies

There are vivid lessons to learn for the next emergency from the current Covid-19 pandemic. We need to identify the right ones, so that for the next virus wave or national disaster we better incorporate maximum freedoms and individual compassion and care into a process where lockdown, quarantine, personal fines and repression were allowed to become excessive and over-dominant recently. It’s not easy…but considering liberties and rights of everyone, from the beginning, would be a great start.
  • Be rid of arbitrary lines, bring in a rights law
  • Is Australia a belligerent nation?
  • Should Dutton’s department part-fund the High Court?
  • ASIO takes a step to the right…after earlier jump to the left
  • Voting early is suddenly popular
  • SA fails to address its widespread legal problem
  • UK’s Covid-019 law: lessons for Australia?
  • Barbados to trump the Queen
  • …but are they entitled to travel allowances

TClick for SINGLE COLUMN (read on screen)
Click for 2-COLUMN (print, read over a break)


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‘Shocking scandal nobody wants to touch’: MP

A South Australian MP in late-September 2020 has called in parliament for a royal commission into half a century of forensic disasters in SA that have put 400 criminal cases, and more, in doubt. He echoes calls by similar CLA in 2016 and 2019, and by others, including into a case where Australia’s longest-serving Aboriginal prisoner, Derek Bromley (photo), remains in jail 37 years after his conviction and 16 years after he could have had parole, because he refuses to admit guilt in a case where evidence from an unqualified and incompetent forensic “expert” sealed his fate.  On 12 October, Ch 9 will air yet another expose on the can of worms underlies “justice” in SA.
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Hear About Julian – 19 Sep 20

Global journalist John Pilger will discuss and update the Julian Assange situation in a Zoom conversation at 1900 on 19 Sept 2020.
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Australia’s national security suffers from ‘rubber stamp’ syndrome

A recent explosive parliamentary committee report has revealed the failings of the UK’s security agencies in relation to tunnel vision. But no such close review, monitoring, questioning and analysis emanates from Australia’s equivalent parliamentary committee, the PJCIS, security specialist Dr Tony Murney says. Has the unrepresentative Australian committee fallen captive to local and foreign security interests?
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Australia extradites with one hand tied, costing Aussies liberty

Australia’s one-side extradition regime gives citizens of other countries much greater legal protection than Australian citizens get. Other countries simply have to allege wrongdoing, and Australia locks up – and extradites – people living in Australia. But going in the other direction, we have to prove, with evidence, our case before other nations will hand over people in their jursidiction. It’s stupid law, and even crazier civil liberties.
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September 2020 CLArion newsletter: CLA outlines vaccination policy

As the virus pandemic grinds on, people are increasingly questioning traditional daily Australian life, from how Parliament convenes (eg, with electronic access and voting, or not) to how we value older people’s lives during a Covid-19 disease which specifically targets them. Trust in politicians, already fragile before the pandemic, is dissipating even as state boundaries become Great Walls. And, as happens during emergencies, organised operators as widely dispersed as security and police agencies to online trolls and anti-vaccination fanatics are actively taking advantage of uncertainty and confusion to further their unique views.
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Judge reminds AG of model litigant obligations

The AG’s department thought they had the sign writer dead to rights for claiming judges were corrupt. And so it turned out, when the Supreme Court judge ruled in the department’s favour. But the high-powered barristers and solicitors may not have been so pleased when the judge limited their pay-day for work done to the modest fine he imposed on the brain-damaged miscreant.
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Kids locked in jail cell isolation 24/7

Nearly 130 children  – 55 of them Indigenous – are locked in cells in isolation 24/7 in Brisbane’s youth jail. The Covid-19 emergency has highlighted the problems – including costs – of locking up children, sometimes as young as 10 because the age of criminal responsibility is so low. Most locked-up children need professional help and special education, not to be in jail.

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