The state government’s secretive sending of our driver licence photos to a mysterious national ID database has come as a rude shock to Tasmanians. What other unrevealed changes has the government imposed on our traditional liberties, rights and freedoms? ‘Full transparency was promised’, but where is it? Richard Griggs asks.
Two legal academics, Dr Bob Moles and Associate Professor Bibi Sangha, have critically examined the Sue Neill-Fraser conviction in Tasmania in 2010, producing a detailed analysis of factual, interpretational and inferential errors involving witnesses, the prosecution and decisions of the judge. They conclude that Neill-Fraser, now in what they believe is her 10th year of wrongful imprisonment, should be released immediately…as occurred in Victoria when a major error was identified in a trial. Victoria was able to acquit an innocent man who had been wrongfully committed one working day after error was acknowledged by the prosecution. So should it be in Tasmania, they say.
Note: Bob Moles Home page on the Sue Neill-Fraser case is here: http://netk.net.au/EtterHome.asp
So secret was the trial and jailing of the ACT’s mystery prisoner that even the territory’s Minister for Corrections, who is also Minister for Justice, did not know about the case until the story broke in the media. Minister Shane Rattenbury still does not know on what grounds he locked up a prisoner for 18 months: he doesn’t know what the prisoner was charged with, or what the prisoner was convicted of. CLA poses some questions to Commonwealth authorities, including Supreme Courts.
The Tasmanian government is having another crack at introducing Australia’s worst – and most expensive, for citizens – anti-protest laws. The High Court threw out their first attempt. Now an ‘openly deceptive’ government is trying to sneak in laws which would instantly turn minor peaceful protest almost anywhere in Tasmania into a major crime. You can sign the e-petition.
The Tasmanian government is again reneging on a promise, this time over a proposed new protest law, introducing massive penalties to restrict genuine protest by concerned citizens along with draconian provisions for police to enforce. Indpendents in Parliament must reject this ‘outrageous law’, CLA’s Tasmanian Director Richard Griggs says.
It’s time to end the unfair practice of the same police force investigating shooting deaths, alleged stun gun abuse, police car chase fatal accidents and major complaints about police behaviour. CLA believes citizens will never get justice from police ”internal” affairs probes until the “internal” bit is replaced by independent investigators and other representing a civil liberties and human rights viewpoint. The time to change is now.
For all its rhetoric, the Tasmanian government in practice does not enable citizen and media freedom, secretly surveils its citizens, and refuses to properly fund, staff and facilitate Right To Information processes. MPs should shed their party blinkers and stand up for the people, against myopic Ministers and secretive bureaucrats.
The first glimmers of light have emerged for and end to draconian anti-terror laws, and a concerted community push to ensure freedom of the press. A parliamentary committee has sent a bill back for re-drafting. Rallies throughout Australia, backed by civil liberties, human rights and lawyer groups, are highlighting how perverse is the government’s continuing persecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery. And at last a long-quiescent media has woken up to its responsibilities to safeguard all of our freedoms, including freedom of the press. We suddenly live in greater hope.
If your local police are in a chatty mood, do you have to converse with them? Peter Karasavas was unnerved by an unusual approach he witnessed, then experienced as a pedestrian. Federal MP Andrew Wilkie has warned we’re headed towards being a police state – is this what the future looks like?
Dr Kerryn Phelps is calling for direct and urgent action to convince Senators, particularly Jacquie Lambie, to not pass a bill which would remove the medevac protective system of treatment for refugees with emergency physical or medical health problems on Nauru or Manus islands. Diana Simmons reports.