Q. to CLA: How about we adopt an Australia Card?

It sounds so simple, just adopt an ID card that you must carry with you everywhere to ‘sign in’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. But how quickly would surveillance-creep go viral, and your movements be subjected to watching and recording every second of every day, all year, everywhere, by the police, spooks and governments? Massive safeguards are needed to protect our privacy and our private information, CLA says.

Are we losing our liberties?

Are Australians losing liberties under the pandemic? There’s a strict, legal answer…and then the practical reality of what’s occurring. But the real lesson is that only eternal vigilance – and a federal Human Rights Act – will protect our freedoms. ‘The struggle for civil liberties is a journey that’s never ending,’ former High Court judge, Michael Kirby, says.

Top cop confused on legality of police actions

Was Operation Ironside illegal under Australian law? There is doubt, created by the AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw, whether the much ballyhooed Operation Ironside was carried out according to the law of the land. The first duty of our police is to obey the law, even before enforcing it. We need open and honest answers rather than confuseed bluster and PR spin, CLA says.

Australia abandons our supporters in Afghanistan

Australia is helping military interpreters who helped out troops in Afghanistan. But we need to do more, more widely: there were hundreds, possibly thousands, of Afghanis employed through Australian-funded and run aid projects, as well other projects where we provided funding through the UN or other agencies. They too face retribution: we also have a responsibility to them, Dr Tony Murney writes.

CLArion July 2021: Power battle over rights and Parliament’s role

Senate and Joint committees are fighting ongoing battles to reclaim power to the Parliament after years of dominance by the Executive,  the small group of Ministers and the Prime Minister who run the nation day-by-day. The Executive Ministers have wrestled power away from Senators and MHRs over decades and through both Coalition and Labor rules…but now parliamentary committees want to put human rights front and centre in all money bills, and also take control of supervising and approving delegated legislation (laws made without having to be passed by both Houses, usually written at the say-so of the Executive).

Federal law enforcement enters strange period

Powers-promoting TV appearances – actually, PR bids for new laws – by top police and politicians are a worrying new trend AS SEEN ON TV. The behaviour of the Coalition Government and ’The Community’ (as the security agencies and police bosses describe themselves) is a worrying new trend in how Executive government, uniformed elites and secret spooks aim to manipulate the Parliament and the people to their own ends. A recent blustering briefing on TV raised more questions than it answered, questions that demand transparent answers from the AFP hierarchy. Would the AFP have ’shopped’ the Bali 9, two of whom were executed, under the apparent new AFP arrest rules?

Parl committee wants human rights front and centre       

         
In what would be a revolutionary development, a parliamentary committee wants all Appropriation Bills – the legislation allowing the government, its departments and agencies to spend money – to be compatible with human rights, and to say so up front. The Human Rights Committee argues that government spending impacts either positively or negatively on Australians’ human rights, so people should be told up front what the ramifications will be. CLA welcomes the initiative, which should spread through all levels of government.

Call for WA govt to rein in integrity-lacking police 

The untrustworthy WA Police have done it again, ignored clear ‘community rules’ and played smart-alecs to abuse data privacy and potentially blow up trust in the system of Covid-19 venue tracing to save lives and prevent pandemic spread. It’s time the government realised WAPOL must be reined in, and that Police-Investigating-Police (PIP) must stop

Police infiltrate iPhone privacy

Once again, for the umpteenth time during the Covid-19 pandemic, police appeal to have gone overboard the moment a new restrictions regime is implemented. They seem to be pre-ordained to use excessive intrusion and invasion of privacy in the first instance, before public complaints eventually force them to take a more reasonable and balanced approach. Why is there always a problem? Is it bad leadership, or bad training…or both?