CLA’s submission calling for a Human Rights Act for Australia, including ensuring there are ‘No Rights Without Remedy’, has been published on the parliament website (Sub No 51). The 31-page, easy-read submission has met with widespread praise for its comprehensiveness and how it marries the need for a national ethical infrastructure, ensures a fair go for both poor and rich, and also melds with the wellbeing Budget principle of delivering long-term improvement in the lives of citizens.
Today, 1 July 2023, is the deadline for lodging a submission to achieve a federal Human Rights Act in Australia. Please email your thoughts on a HRA today even if it’s only one or two pages (see where to email on Page 1). IN THIS ISSUE we name the nation’s worst police force as judged by the people of Australia, and warn police authorities about hiring duds from elsewhere as they desperately seek new recruits while trying to hide police misbehaviour from citizens. We remind AG Mark Dreyfus it’s time to drop the charges against whistleblowers Boyle and McBride.
Throughout Australia, liberties and rights campaigners are using the Kathleen Folbigg pardon to highlight the need for a criminal cases review commission. Here, eminent civil libertarian and lawyer Terry O’Gorman explains why a CCRC is needed, and how one for Australia as a whole would work.
CLA is delighted modern forensic science has freed Kathleen Folbigg from jail and the the guilt of murdering her babies. Now it is time that up-to-date forensics in 2023 re-examine the Tasmanian case of Sue Neill-Fraser for previously tested and never tested evidence samples. SNF served 13 years in jail, is out on monitored parole for the next 10 years…and continues to maintain her innocence in what CLA believes was a wrongful conviction.
30 June is the last day to prepare a submission on a proposed federal Human Rights law. Please get your supportive sub in, even if only a letter, or a short comment. Meanwhile, AG Mark Dreyfus is reforming the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, appointing a new head and planning new appointments, based on merit. The ACT is raising the Minimum Age of Responsibility for Children to 14, and will join SA, Tasmania, Victoria and WA with a legislated second and subsequent ‘Right To Appeal’ where there’s a substantial miscarriage of justice.
How is Australia improving – or otherwise – as a nation and a society? Are we becoming a fairer, more equal place to live, concentrating on what produces better outcomes for people? Is our traditional narrow focus on GDP doing us a disservice as a people? CLA’s HR Campaign Manager Chris Stamford examines new ways of measuring progress.
More details are emerging on how public consultation over a Human Rights Act for Australia will get under way: you can express your support in a submission to the parliamentary committee by 1 July 2023, so please do, even if it is just a one-page letter. Meanwhile, secret trials, indefinite detenton, vague laws, forensics problems and more Indigenous people being jailed are among the concerns in this issue, not to mention a swathe of government departments and agencies failing to act, acting inappropriately of refusing to meet mandatory deadlines for providing public information to the people they supposedly serve.
Research by two eminent UNSW academics has proven that Australia has ‘a criminal justice system that is far from just’. In simple words, they outline the problems clearly and precisely, and call on governments and agencies trhoughout Australia to become more accountable for their actions, and inaction.