Apr 2011 Newsletter
Attorney-General’s eye off ball as disasters dominate

The Attorney-General apparently spends more time on disasters than on the laws, liberties and rights of Australians. The role has deteriorated into chief spinner rather than protector of Australia’s fair go society. Elsewhere, a Senate committee is encouraging children to break the online safety rules in a survey…on cyber-safety! Changes to family law may make things worse for kids, and soon the AG’s Department will be in your backyard, ripping out the wattles, cacti, and Sturt’s Desert Pea. Is autumn 2011 time for heavy weeding in the government garden?

The rise and sideways spread of telephone tapping (wiretapping, in US parlance) is a serious concern in Australia, a report to parliament shows. As well, police and security agencies are being given new powers to create what will become the type of database and linkages that only entities like the Stasi in East Germany used to possess. Wherever you turn, police and security powers are being expanded, civil liberties and human rights are being constrained, in a way akin to acclimatising a frog to boiling water. Other topics covered in April include:

  • CLA gets a new director;
  • Australia has become a police (drugs) state;
  • ‘Non-police’ take to phone tapping with gusto;
  • See-through scanners a certainty for Australia;
  • Do smoking bans target mentally ill disproportionately;
  • Crime buster agency tries to silence journalists;
  • Young lawyers at grave risk of suffering depression;
  • Female prison number soar;
  • EU to rein in social media sites;
  • Brits move to end libel tourism; and
  • Rogue church wins on protest in US Supreme Court.

 

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