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.

High Court fails again on justice being seen to be done

[caption id="attachment_42385" align="alignleft" width="500"] The size of justice as portrayed on the TV set in Court 2, High Court of Australia. The portrait of the judge, at right, is bigger, not to mention the coat of arms.[/caption]
The High Court rejected Sue Neill-Fraser’s bid in mid-August 2022 for a full court hearing on what she, many legal experts, and CLA believe is her wrongful conviction for killing husband Bob Chappell on a yacht in Tasmania in 2009. The High Court hearing, in a remote, disjointed mini-TV setting, was a farce if meant to exhibit open and transparent, accessible justice. On many levels, the court needs to lift its game considerably and be reminded that it serves the people, not the reverse.

Barrister promises revelations: ‘reprehensible’ police

Fallout from ‘reprehensible’ behaviour by Tasmanian Police is likely to reverberate around Australia in legal circles as barristers pillory how TasPol and the Office of the DPP handled a five-year alleged harassment of lawyer Jeff Thompson. The DPP dropped the case – at virtually the last possible moment – this week. More revelations about possibly appalling and illegal police behaviour are yet to emerge when earlier court-ordered suppression orders are lifted.

Lawyer unhassled! Yacht No Body case nears a climax

Matters associated with the Sue-Neill Fraser case have some good news at last – the SNF ‘orals’ hearing in the High Court of Australia is scheduled for Friday 12 August 2022, at a time yet to be fixed.A lawyer involved with the case has had charges against him dropped this week. And, for the first time, on Sunday 14 August ALL of Australia will be able to watch the gripping drama of the Yacht-No-Body case in Sandy Bay, Tasmania, in 2009 that has seen Sue jailed for 13 years (as of 20 August)…the ‘Undercurrent’ series starts a new run from 10.40pm AEST this Sunday.

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.

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’.