Explosive letter & speech reopens SNF inquiry call

A former Tasmanian prosecutor, Tony Jacobs, with 30 years experience which includes 30 murder trials, has written an explosive letter – beginning with the famous phrase ‘J’Accuse, quoting Emile Zola in 1898 – to the state’s Law Society claiming that “Mrs (Sue) Neill-Fraser’s conviction for murder should have been overturned because of the mistakes & omissions of a number of Tasmanian Legal Practitioners”. Jacobs’ letter was tabled in the Legislative Council of the Tasmanian Parliament on Tuesday 15 November 2022 by Michael Gaffney MLC. Here’s the tabling speech from a Hansard proof copy, .and you can read the tabled the letter.

CLArion November 2022 – Big win for remedies when rights breached

One jurisdiction has agreed to implement the principle of ‘No Rights Without Remedies’ starting in 2023, as the campaign for a national Human Rights Act switches into higher gear with a briefing to MPs in Parliament House. The federal Budget delivered in small ways for rights and liberties, but there were worrying failures nationally and internationally in terms of Australia’s prison systems, and in how we run trials whee rape is alleged, including serious new questions surrounding judicial directions, the rights of juries and ‘counselling’ in and out of court…raised here for the first time.

  • Federal judicial commission likely
  • Judge threatens to prosecute govt over jailing children
  • One jurisdiction raises age of criminal responsibility
  • Former AG warns spook agencies need ‘adult supervision’
  • Charles 3, defender of 9.8% of Aussies, says Robbo
  • State grants police even more powers
  • Ethics training provider decided by selective tender
  • Prisoners want more pay: no rise for two decades
  • British judges racially biased: report
  • Dead man has conviction overturned

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NACC: CLA explains how integrity and rights go together

CLA’s submission to the National Anti-Corruption Commission parliamentary inquiry placed the NACC in context – along with a much-needed, federal Human Rights Act to follow – as delivering a better, fairer and more equal ethical infrastructure for Australia. When CLA appeared before the NACC inquiry committee, it was unfortunately more intent on parsing clauses from a legal perspective than discussing the best national philosophy for Australia. (Note: the committee asked for submissions to be kept as short as possible).

What are human rights? Where from? Why?

‘Human rights’ is a simple concept: the rights let you do what you reasonably want to do…without preventing someone else doing what they want to do. But they can get bound up in formal ‘legalese’. Here, CLA explains our understanding of what ‘human rights’ means as applied to Australia, and why we should have a national, or federal, Human Rights Act or bill of rights like NZ, Canada, the UK and the USA.

CLArion Oct 2022 – Time for new federal human rights outline

Behind the scenes, moves are under way to frame a new approach to human rights for Australia. October through December is critical for developing where and when a federal HR Act fits. CLA is the prime mover Australia-wide in ensuring that any such act involves ’No Rights Without Remedies’. Such a foundation will establish a way to get quickly, easily and cheaply before conciliation or a tribunal to have rights acknowledged and enforced. Meanwhile, rights we thought we had are disappearing, as forensic science labs and police forces let citizens down by misinterpreting or not obeying the law of the land and their own regulations.

Tas Police: secret, illegal keepers of the dark arts

Recent revelations of secret recordings of lawyers and their clients at Risdon Prison by Tasmanian Police over two months raised major alarm bells. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has been consistently calling out TasPol for its recording devices and surveillance warrant failures for years. TasPol's “compliance culture” is lacking, the Ombudsman says. In other words, TasPol does not obey the law. SPECIAL ANALYSIS reveals how extensive the TasPol problem is: nothing less than a full inquiry into TasPol will get to the root causes of its problems.

Warrants: how Tas compares; why reform needed

Police can self-authorise some warrants, or get a magistrate or judge to issue others. But whatever method is mandated, warrants are frequently incorrectly issued in Australia on false, dodgy or incomplete information containing wrong details and not meeting legal requirements, or by unauthorised people. The Commonwealth monitors warrant processes, and its Ombudsman has singled out one state in particular, Tasmania, for compliance and culture criticism over the past few years

Behind the secrecy in Bernard Collaery case

What was so secret about the Bernard Collaery and Witness K case? It couldn’t have been the bugging of the East Timorese Cabinet rooms, as that was well known. Perhaps it was deeper and longer-term spying on who the East Timorese leaders were planning to throw their lot in with, over suspicions of Chinese influence of concern to Australia 20 years ago, Dr Richie Gun surmises.

CLArion September 2022 – Justice under threat Oz-wide and in island state

The High Court has a duty to deliver transparent justice in open and full view of the people: it failed last month. Australia-wide, torture and sexual assault reveal severe problems in juvenile jails as adult prisoners are experiencing similar inhumane treatment. One state's justice system is in parlous condition with illegal audio and visual surveillance of hundreds of privileged lawyer-client discussions after police used an illegal warrant inside a jail. Was the police action a ‘witch hunt’? Did it comprise an official conspiracy to thwart the rule of law? Clear and obvious warnings month after month indicate justice in Australia is in need of a national Royal Commission covering all jurisdictions at the one time, CLA believes.