Prisoners and quarantined must have their health safeguarded

Prisoners are worried, very worried. Locked away, often two to a cell, they are more prone to a contagious virus than just about any sector of society. Governments have a responsibility to take special efforts to protect their health. And governments are also responsible for ensuring that any quarantined group, including arrivals from flights or cruises, are also looked after according to the OPCAT treaty standards that Australia and every state and territory government has signed up to.

Crisis causes power to aggregate centrally

As the virus crisis bites deeper into daily life, more people are starting to question what freedoms and liberties we are giving up at the behest of an ever-shrinking ‘executive’ ruling group, comprising a hotch-potch of people from MPs to mining bosses and public servants with interesting track records. CLA member Carolyn van Langenberg airs some opinions alternate to the mainstream groupthink.

Judicial Commission needs independent, external input to stop judges bullying lawyers

The NT is planning to introduce a Judicial Commission to deal with the problem of judges bullying lawyers. A parliamentary committee is considering submissions – but none of the submissions, other than that from CLA – proposes having truly independent people on the commission and its investigatory panels…or even mandatory Indigenous representationl. Changes to the current bill are vital if justice is to be seen to be done, and to be done, to lawyers and their clients in the NT, CLA says.
 
 
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CLA proposes independent and Indigenous members of Judicial Commission

The NT Parliament is proposing a Judicial Commission to solve major problems of bullying by judges and magistrates, as well as lengthy delays in delivering some judgements. CLA has told the parliamentary committee that the absence of any independent legal expert from outside the NT, and  the possibility of the commission having no Indigenous representatives, needs fixing.

Declaration of AGM of CLA held in 2020

The annual general meeting of members of Civil Liberties Australia Inc (CLA). was conducted over February-March 2020. It comprised a vote to make minor changes to the CLA Constitution to align wholly with a Model Constitution of the ACT, and votes to approve the 2019 Annual Report, Treasurer’s Financial Statement and President’s Report. Some 43% of members voted: all who voted approved all items up for voting. The detailed figures and a wide range of the comments made by members with their votes are in the DECLARATION OF POLL document.

Good, bad, ugly of ‘treating’ mental illness revealed

A new book revealing the doings inside a now-closed ‘mental asylum’ is an important contribution to civil liberties and human rights. It is a timely reminded – as a health panic starts to threaten more government abuse – that it is vital to keep shining torches into those places that authorities would prefer are forgotten. Review by Reg. Murray.

Let prisoners escape Covid-19 virus

Other nations are already showing Australia the way on how to mass deaths in prisons: they are letting lower-range and particular prisoners free, at least for the duration of the world health emergency. It’s time the Australian states and territories did something similar…and took the opportunity to remove from prison some people who probably should not be there, CLA says.