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?

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.

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.

  • Fed govt lags western world in aged care quality monitoring
  • Muzzled journos speak out for press freedom: two inquiries reporting
  • Human rights committee splinters on party lines
  • ASIO Bill gets another bad report card
  • Call for brave AGs to act
  • Blind justice dispensed by police
  • NZ takes Kiwise approach to algorithms
  • Malaysia raids Al Jazeera news network office
  • 20 years of saving lives of children

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Click for 2-COLUMN (print, read over a break)

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.

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.

Big leap for Aussie MPs as they go video

Australia’s parliamentarians are on trainer wheels as they enjoy the benefits of video meetings partaken of by the rest of the population for about six months. Parliament and committee expert Dr Sarah Moulds points out that Spain has been holding such meetings, and remote voting (which is still barred in Australia), for nearly a decade. Time Australia’s parliaments caught up, CLA says.

Coronavirus Pandemic: Statements by CLA

For all the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, then in the longer-term recovery to normal phase, civil liberties and human rights must be integrated into every decision of all authorities. While a health and emergency policing response is vital, so too is ensuring that the maximum freedoms of Australians are respected at all times. Premiers and others are in danger of forgetting peoples’ rights matter too!

August 2020 CLArion newsletter: Pollies, spooks fail to tell full truth

With another election season upon us, politicians and candidates are trotting out their ‘law n order’ fear-creating campaigns to gain election, not telling us that it costs taxpayers more than $300 a day to house each prisoner, which adds to the taxes we pay. Similarly, the security service heavies – notably ASIO’s – are spruiking more fear to boost their control over citizens and ultimately their budgets and staff. In all cases, it’s a ruse played knowingly on citizens to the advantage of would-be control freaks aiming to diminish our civil liberties, rights and freedoms.

AGs are cowards not to lift age of responsibility    

Australia’s Attorney-General showed cowardice in not lifting the age of criminal responsibillity from 10 10 at least 14, CLA President Dr Kristine Klugman says. A national justice department group has been working on the issue for years: it strongly recommended the common national age goes up, now. It’s time for one or mroe AGs to show the courage of their convictions, not the least because it will help keep Aboriginal kids as young as 10 from dominating juvenile jailings in Australia.