CLArion Sept 2021: CLA success, new way to operate, SNF latest

CLA CLArion Monthly newsletterCLA saw one of its prime recommendations adopted by the parliamentary Homelessness inquiry: we don’t often get a committee agreeing completely with us, but here we did. Also, the CLA Board has decided how we can operate more efficiently and therefore effectively in future, with details and the dates of a special general meeting set out in this issue. CLA member Barbara Etter and barrister Hugh Selby have exposed gross incompetence, and possibly worse, by the Tasmanian Office of the DPP and TasPolice in ‘evidence’ collected and filtered before tendering to the judge and  jury in the original trial of  Sue Neill-Fraser, now in her 13th year wrongly jailed. Her defence counsel was kept in the dark about some witness statements that could have helped her.

  • What are ravenous data fiends really doing?
  • Laws your MP had no chance to vote for…or against
  • Should Australia have CCRCs?
  • Barrister calls for judge to be removed from bench
  • State admits to massive parole problems
  • China plans new laws around public health, privacy
  • 0.8% conviction rate for sexual assaults
  • Canada introduces vaccine passport

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CLArion August 2021: Pandemic causes ill health to democracy, liberties

Once mass vaccination eases the pandemic, laws need correcting to restore democracy, civil liberties and human rights to Australians, CLA says. When C-19 broke out, our rulers first abandoned parliaments, which stopped meeting entirely. Then draconian emergency laws empowered politicians and police to act virtually without restraint. Soon, instantly imposed regulations, stemming from the unbridled emergency powers, saw us all locked in our homes, unable to work, travel cross-town or interstate ,or even choose to travel overseas, and with no prospect of tribunal or court appeal around special individual circumstances. Once the panic is over, we must restore Australians’ freedoms and liberties by demanding meaningful Human Rights Acts throughout the nation.

CLArion July 2021: Power battle over rights and Parliament’s role

Senate and Joint committees are fighting ongoing battles to reclaim power to the Parliament after years of dominance by the Executive,  the small group of Ministers and the Prime Minister who run the nation day-by-day. The Executive Ministers have wrestled power away from Senators and MHRs over decades and through both Coalition and Labor rules…but now parliamentary committees want to put human rights front and centre in all money bills, and also take control of supervising and approving delegated legislation (laws made without having to be passed by both Houses, usually written at the say-so of the Executive).

CLArion June 2021: Wrong priorities mean rights fight is harder

Governments’ abnormal priorities founded on warped ideologies and broken promises are skewing important decisions around liberties and rights issues. Citizens are having to fight for basic health and disabilities spending, and charities are under active national assault. However security services and matters military are being showered with excessive funds, while crime dogs get $0.5m each. With the pandemic sure to impose continuing stresses on daily living for another year or more, the nation is in the run-up to an important federal election, maybe just a few months away, in which it is hoped public values, personal morality and political philosophy may pay a greater role than personalities.

CLArion May 2021: Interstate squabbling means children suffer

Squabbling and politicking over ‘law and order’ elections is preventing states and the Northern Territory agreeing to set 14 as the Age of Criminal Responsibility for children, proving that federation is a waste of time, money and resources if we want a national approach to justice in the 120-year-old entity that is Australia. Meanwhile federally ministers are wasting billions of dollars locking up refugees and children on offshore islands, just so the government can maintain an anachronistic political ideology, and taking to court patriotic Australians whose only sin was to reveal alleged murders and grossly improper behaviour by public servants.

CLArion April 2021: Bipartisan bid to restore power to Parliament

An unlikely pairing of two Liberal and Labor politicians are using the Senate Scrutiny Committee to rein in the ever-expanding power of ‘Executive’ Ministers producing legislation – about half of all Australian laws – that can change and expand under ‘regulations’ at the government’s whim, with the Parliament having no review powers over them. The Senators have taken the first step in restoring properly-balanced power between the Executive, the Judiciary and Parliament, as the Australian Constitution says it should be.

CLArion Mar 2021: Sue Neill-Fraser appeal to start, at last!

Today’s the day! Risdon prisoner Sue Neill-Fraser’s long-awaited, long-thwarted, and long-delayed appeal is due to start on 1 March 2021, this CLArion issue’s cover date. The tortuous, uphill climb to today began on 2 August 2013 when CLA President Dr Kristine Klugman and CEO Bill Rowlings briefed then-Shadow Liberal AG Vanessa Goodwin on the need for Tasmania to ‘mirror’ the then-new law in South Australia allowing a second appeal. On 2 November 2015, the now-deceased Goodwin was true to her word: the second ‘Right to Appeal’ became Tasmanian law too. Since that date – 5 1/2 years ago – SNF has been striving for an appeal court to overturn what CLA believes is her wrongful conviction for murdering husband, Bob Chappell, on their yacht moored in Sandy Bay on the night of 26 January 2009.

CLArion Feb 2021: CLA calls for equal rights for Territorians

Civil Liberties Australia, in one of its 2021 Australia Day letters, has asked federal MP Kevin Andrews to propose a Private Member’s Bill that would reverse the 1997 federal law he introduced which currently overturns ACT and NT citizens, and their parliaments, having the human right to vote on euthanasia in their territories. Another OzDay letter, to all state and territory jurisdictions, proposes that they review their patchy and inequitable censorship rules for prisoner mail. A third letter calls on the WA Police Commissioner to formally apologise to all those people named falsely and irresponsibly by police as ‘persons of interest’ over a period of 25 years before WA secured the recent conviction and life sentence of Bradley Edwards for the Claremont murder.

CLArion Jan 2021: Is Australia a nation of justice?

It’s good to look back on an extraordinary 2020 to re-set the gauges of life for 2021 and beyond. A virus has curtailed personal liberties in the name of a wider good, so the challenge becomes to decide how basic freedoms can be entrenched better in ordinary times – and extraordinary times – in future. This year will feature a push for human rights laws for all of us in more jurisdictions (including federally) and, in particular, the quest for justice denied these past 12 years for Sue Neill-Fraser, still locked in Hobart’s Risdon jail.

Dec 2020 CLArion: killings reveal much more than rogue soldiers

Much about wider military and general society is revealed by the alleged murders committed by special forces troops. Cover-ups and refusal to account for bad behaviour are rampant throughout politics and police forces, and strongly suspected among the security elite. CLA believes widespread change is needed to re-boot society, starting with a strong ICAC accountability mechanism to de-power ruling elites, and a human rights act and tribunal to empower the less-privileged.