The politics of a local election and of international extradition involving the UK, Sweden and the USA dominate this month, as the perennial issues of abortion, privacy, integrity and police-investigating police return for analysis.
Former High Court chief judge Robert French has delivered a less-than-innovative report on the issue of free speech on uni campuses. He proposes tinkering with new federal laws. But, says Law student Sam Coten, the universities themselves should take individual leads and live up to the promise on which the entire sector was founded nearly 1000 years ago.
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.
A man convicted of sexual offences who has nearly completed his non-parole period in jail may have to undergo a retrial because of alleged misbehaviour by jurors. The unusual case is being investigated by the sheriff of NSW.
Easter is a time of reflection, and of religious services for many. But CLA member Keith McEwan, a lifelong atheist who died this month aged 93, explained in an Easter missive to friends some years ago that you can “love thy neighbour” far away from prayers and churches.
Fear and bigotry is diminishing in relation to homosexuals, but they remain ‘go to’ reactions for most people when the subject of mental illness comes up. Sufferer Reg Murray explains that mental illness is just another type of disease, and sufferers should receive compassion and tender loving care, like anyone who is ill.
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.
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.
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.