April 09 Newsletter – CLA to decide strategy on liberties/rights charter

CLA is anticipating a positive report from the current national human rights consultation…and is planning how to lock in better ongoing protection for the liberties and rights of Australians as part of the nation’s foundation documents. A meeting in Canberra in early April will plan a strategy for 2010-2012, the period when the question of whether or not to introduce a Charter of Rights is likely to be decided by the Australian Government.

As positive signs emerged this month on the Freedom of Information front federally, there were further erosions of liberties around the States and, unusually, by the High Court of Australia in a case involving a liquor licence. As a survey shows the Australian legal sector growing strongly, the Australian Government is trying to wind back its legal bills.

In other issues covered, the problems of CCTV systems failing when needed is highlighted again, while NSW police are introducing roadside fingerprinting to nab more criminals…but what happens to the fingeprint images of the innocent? There’s more news of stun guns seriously injuring people, including a police officer who suffered a seizure.

Internationally, reports out of Britain continue to highlight how civil liberties are taking a battering in that nation…from which Australia has traditionally derived much of its security and surveillance legislation.

Other issues featuring in this month’s CLArion include:

  • Australians refused insurance because of their genes;
  • Health ID is a privacy minefield;
  • Australian appointed to high UN human rights position;
  • Credit card fraud on the rise;
  • Fiji’s military chiefs want to shut down newspapers;
  • Malaysia bans opposition newspapers just before election;
  • Water is a need, not a human right;
  • World drug strategy in turmoil, change demanded;
  • Britain’s databases are fundamentally flawed;
  • European ‘serial killer’ exposed as swab worker; and
  • Assisted suicide may go to conscience vote.

This month’s CLArion is available here.

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