CLArion Aug 22 – It’s time States came good on justice issues

With a new Australian government attending to federal justice issues (ICAC with teeth, voice for Indigenous people, ending false court actions and – we expect – a Human Rights Act later on), it’s time States and Territories acted positively to end injustice in their jurisdictions: legal errors caused by incompetent and/or malicious police and prosecutors, inhumane juvenile jailing, adult prisons with temperatures likely to exceed 50C but no air-con system…and the fact that most Crimes Acts in Australia date, unreviewed across the board, from 110 years ago. It’s time for a major inquiry or commission into Australian ‘justice’ and whether our 2020 systems serve Australians as well as they should, CLA says. Plus, in this issue:
  • Sue Neill-Fraser to get at least 30 minutes in the High Court this month
  • AG Mark Dreyfus has a full plate…but even more needs his attention
  • Political parties need reform, voice from the past says
  • High Court’s till pays for some odd fingers
  • Pill testing in Oz, at last
  • Age of criminal responsibility should rise now
  • ‘Legal’ grants: dogs’ breakfast describes how funds are scattered
  • UK SAS soldiers accused of murders in Afghanistan
  • ’They just seemed to fit the evidence around me’: how wrongful convictions happen

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NSW expands unexplained wealth seizures using secret surveillance

Election in the offing: law ’n order pollies get desperate. Both major parties want new ‘frighten the citizens laws’, reducing people’s rights, increasing secret surveillance, giving police yet more powers. Pollies pretend the ill-thought-through laws will reduce crime. More likely crime will increase. Stand by for other ghastly laws from the skeleton hands of Premier Perrottet and Pals of the NSW parliamentary ghost train, where scare the punters trumps care for the citizens.

CLArion July 2022: Push for No Rights Without Remedies

Pressure is mounting on the federal government to announce a national review leading to introducing a Human Rights Act (HRA) for Australia. A HRA is a priority issue once a National Integrity Commission law is before parliament: a full review is promised in the Labor Party platform. Meanwhile, the Justice committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly is urging improvements to the ACT Human Rights ACT – possibly as a model for a national Act – to ensure that in future there are ‘No Rights Without Remedies’.

Why Oz needs HR protection here and now

Throughout the world, people are losing the human rights protection they thought they had. The loss of a layer of personal protection is happening at the stroke of the pen of judges, presidents and ministers. In Australia, we don’t have a layer to lose: that’s why it’s even more urgent fo the new government, the Greens and Independents to require the Albanese government to bring in a national Human Rights Act, much sooner than later.

Justice failing state’s kids as young as 10

Horrific stories of kids locked up 23 hours a day forming suicide pacts, regular riots and a juvenile jail smashed to pieces are the backdrop for an urgent need to change tack on how the state of WA treats its young, and old, prisoners. Australia needs an inquiry – one it has never had in its 120 years – into the state of justice in the nation, CLA’s CEO Bill Rowlings writes.

Labor govt must deliver human rights protections

In this excellent article, social justice journalist Paul Gregoire outlines – with the help of CLA’s CEO Bill Rowlings – how bringing in a Human Rights Act to accompany a new National Integrity Commission will help complete Australia’s ethical infrastructure. Doing so would also go a long way towards fulfilling PM Albanese’s commitment on election night to ‘looking after the disadvantaged and vulnerable’ and to ‘shard values of fairness’.

CLArion June 2022: ‘Teals’ asked to back Human Right Act

CLA has formally asked the ’teal’ members of the Parliament, and other independents, to support a Human Rights Act (HRA) for Australia as an early, first 100 days, action item alongside a National Integrity Commission. Together, the two initiatives would rein in the excesses of politicians and elites at the top end of town, and underpin rights, liberties and justice for the bottom end among people who are doing it tough. Australia has already held its biggest-ever consultation on a HRA, with massive support for the concept. It’s time to make it happen.

New Labor govt: what chance a Human Rights Act?

The federal Labor Party’s election platform for 2022 promises a ‘Review of the Human Rights Framework’ for Australia.The new government has also promised to create an international Human Rights Ambassador. CLA is campaigning for a review in the first 100 days, alongside developing a National Integrity Commission. In 2009 the Brennan Inquiryundertook had the biggest consultation in Australia’s history on the subject of human rights, with an overwhelming positive response by Australians. Now is time to introduce a Human Rights Act, or Bill of Rights, for Australia. Read the latest news.

Federal priorities post-election: Dr Des Griffin

What should the incoming Australian government set as priorities for the 2022-2025 parliamentary term? You can read about what CLA believes priorities should be in the CLArion MAY 2022 (see below), or here –in response to those priorities – is what noted museum and education expert Dr Des Griffin AM proposes as early-term ‘must-dos’ for whomever forms government.