War. What for?

Honouring people who have served Australia in notable ways is an honourable thing to do.While feting our war dead and the living former soldiers, we have an equal duty to critically examine the wars of the past and present, measuring how we got involved, what the outcome and result looks like in hindsight, and whether we can avoid making mistakes in how and why we enter wars in future, Keith McEwan wrote, originally in 2011.

Never-ending inquiry into religion to keep on keeping on

The federal government is likely to keep inquiring into religious freedoms in the new parliament from May 2019, because it can’t make up its mind how to reconcile giving priority to Christian religious beliefs in a secular society mandated by the Australian Constitution. The latest of many inquiries has just reported, and it at least had the good grace to quote the sensible observations of CLA.

‘Victory’ is costly under ISDS

The government continues to commit the nation to expensive litigation under the Investor State Dispute Settlement regime. Many years after the event, the true cost of the spurious Philip Morris claim against Australia for plain packaging of cigarettes is now known. We won, but paid a heavy price we should never have been liable for.

April 2019: Six-year CLA battle helps earn Neill-Fraser appeal over her 23-year sentence for murder

A meeting in 2013 with a politician who kept her word began the long process that led to Sue Neill-Fraser getting a second appeal chance at justice in Tasmania. Now for a hearing, preferably with interstate judges. Elsewhere, Australia’s first law officer abuses the law for what appears to be for his, his party’s and his department’s benefit. And now Australia has three human rights acts: six to go.

Declaration of CLA’s 2019 Annual General Meeting and comments

More than half the Members eligible to vote took part in the Annual General Meeting, held in March 2019, of Civil Liberties Australia. CLA holds its AGM electronically and by post so that Members scattered throughout Australia can participate. Many Members also commented on how the organisation is operating – their comments are included with the formal Declaration of the AGM process.