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.

  • Turmoil roils legal profession and police services
  • Parliament should have war power, not Executive
  • Hypocrite MHR Kevin Andrews proposes fancy human rights law!
  • Trade minister is against fair trade!
  • Catholic nun puts Timor oil ’security’ trials in context
  • Lindy and Michael Chamberlain were dead wrong
  • Former magistrate given 12 months jail
  • Should prisoners get C19 vaccine early?
  • Judge to review UK’s human rights act

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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.

November 2020 CLArion newsletter: skewed spending analysed

Criticise the federal government at your peril is the lesson from the 2020 Budget as the ANAO, ABC, human rights and other agencies suffer more funding cuts. Meanwhile funny money magically appears in ever-increasing amounts to continue the two-decade long expansion of security, police and intelligence agencies…even as state governments hand over our driver licence photos before legal and privacy protections are legislated.

October 2020 CLArion newsletter: keeping liberties in emergencies

There are vivid lessons to learn for the next emergency from the current Covid-19 pandemic. We need to identify the right ones, so that for the next virus wave or national disaster we better incorporate maximum freedoms and individual compassion and care into a process where lockdown, quarantine, personal fines and repression were allowed to become excessive and over-dominant recently. It’s not easy…but considering liberties and rights of everyone, from the beginning, would be a great start.

September 2020 CLArion newsletter: CLA outlines vaccination policy

As the virus pandemic grinds on, people are increasingly questioning traditional daily Australian life, from how Parliament convenes (eg, with electronic access and voting, or not) to how we value older people’s lives during a Covid-19 disease which specifically targets them. Trust in politicians, already fragile before the pandemic, is dissipating even as state boundaries become Great Walls. And, as happens during emergencies, organised operators as widely dispersed as security and police agencies to online trolls and anti-vaccination fanatics are actively taking advantage of uncertainty and confusion to further their unique views.

August 2020 CLArion newsletter: Pollies, spooks fail to tell full truth

With another election season upon us, politicians and candidates are trotting out their ‘law n order’ fear-creating campaigns to gain election, not telling us that it costs taxpayers more than $300 a day to house each prisoner, which adds to the taxes we pay. Similarly, the security service heavies – notably ASIO’s – are spruiking more fear to boost their control over citizens and ultimately their budgets and staff. In all cases, it’s a ruse played knowingly on citizens to the advantage of would-be control freaks aiming to diminish our civil liberties, rights and freedoms.

July 2020 CLArion newsletter: Worst of times provide opportunity to change baseline rights for the future

As the Covid-19 pandemic restricts traditional freedoms wholesale, and the police and security community seeks even greater powers of surveillance and data control over our photos and faces, these appear to be dark times for personal liberties. But times of change also bring opportunity, Noq is the chance for all Australians who care about rights and freedoms to speak out loudly and strongly about the most basic of freedoms, like free speech and individual privacy, as well as demanding a new approach to the world of regulations which govern our everyday lives.

June 2020 CLArion newsletter: Can liberties and rights survive onslaughts from spikes of the Covid-19 pandemic?

Can liberties and rights we previously enjoyed survive the Covid-19 pandemic? Already the right to privacy has been formally legislated away in one Australian jurisdiction, while the Federal Court is under investigation for allegedly unlawfully revealing hundreds of asylum seeker names. As well, the government is blaming the pandemic for the absence of a much-needed integrity mechanism, even as courts themselves lock down behind closed doors into secret trials spreading around Australia. People’s locally-elected representatives are being by-passed as an invented executive mechanism, the National Cabinet, takes over from parliamentary democracy.  The signs are not good.

Other items in this issue:

May 2020 CLArion newsletter: Trust emerges as even stronger factor in which politicians and parties we’re prepared to put our faith in next time around

With the immediate emergency fading, thoughts turn to what we need restoring first: personal freedoms (our civil liberties) back is No 1, just to walk on a beach, take a drive, go interstate. Then comes democracy: parliaments sitting again to schedule. We need to learn the lessons of this time for for next time. Is the ‘National Cabinet’ appropriate? Is it just PR spin and collective avoidance of responsibility? It’s not constitutional, so entrenching an NC means legislating in every parliament. That would open a bag of states’ rights and responsibilities worms sure to engender passionate debate about whether we can trust politicians to not dispense arbitrarily with our freedoms at a moment’s notice…like this time around.

April 2020 CLArion newsletter: Governments impinge on liberties, freedoms as Covid-19 lockdowns become more widespread, individual and draconian

As the health crisis stretches into months, governments are becoming more authoritarian by the week. Police and military enforcement squads are on the streets. The open air freedom of beaches is denied citizens. People are copping large fines for walking together and talking to each other. From full support for emergency crackdown measures, governments risk alienating the citizenry if their exercise of power becomes unbalanced and out-of-kilter with people’s sense of a fair go. Whatever occurs over the next few months, it is obviously time for a total overhaul of the rights and liberties, the personal freedoms, of Australians. Covid-19 is showing how much we need a national Human Rights Act.Arion.pdf”>Click for 2-COLUMN (print, read over a break)