CLArion January 2023 – Human Rights Act special: model for Oz

With The Voice to dominate 2023, CLA is concentrating on key national justice issues beyond the referendum. Since 2020, we have been lobbying hard behind the scenes on a Human Rights Act for Australia. To achieve the best possible version, we’ve helped produce major changes in the nation’s first HR Act, the one in the ACT, due to start in 2023 and operate fully in 2024. Also this year, CLA will focus on Failure To Disclose (FTD), the legal blight perpetrated mostly by prosecutors and police which makes our courts unfair and leads to miscarriages of justice, with taxpayers having to fund big compensation payouts.

  • NACC and federal HRA create ethical infrastructure for Australia\
  • hat Whitlam left to be done…
  • New consultation focus is on implementation
  • Parliament fails to safeguard human rights
  • Bromley, 38 years in jail, about to get his day in High Court
  • Attorneys-General and SCAG focus is on future law reform again
  • Jails ready to burst: prepare to pay more taxe
  • 87% want a vote on going to war: politicians refus
  • Scotland raises age at which kids can be jailed
  • NZ Hall case bares mistakes – or worse – by lawyers
  • Canada rethinks VAD for the mentally ill

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CLArion December 2022 – Flawed justice, and women bear the brunt

Increasingly, more women are in jail in Australia, and Aboriginal women are 21 times more likely to be jailed; most men and women in jail are suffering from mental health problems. The nation has an epidemic of poverty and homelessness, twin scourges which foster more draconian laws, longer jail sentences and so mushrooming prison building. Meanwhile police force numbers expand the more incompetent they are, especially re domestic crimes against women. Australia is in a downwards “justice” spiral: women are bearing the brunt. Radical re-thinking of flawed systems across federal, state and local governments needs to create better justice for the nation.

CLArion November 2022 – Big win for remedies when rights breached

One jurisdiction has agreed to implement the principle of ‘No Rights Without Remedies’ starting in 2023, as the campaign for a national Human Rights Act switches into higher gear with a briefing to MPs in Parliament House. The federal Budget delivered in small ways for rights and liberties, but there were worrying failures nationally and internationally in terms of Australia’s prison systems, and in how we run trials whee rape is alleged, including serious new questions surrounding judicial directions, the rights of juries and ‘counselling’ in and out of court…raised here for the first time.

CLArion Oct 2022 – Time for new federal human rights outline

Behind the scenes, moves are under way to frame a new approach to human rights for Australia. October through December is critical for developing where and when a federal HR Act fits. CLA is the prime mover Australia-wide in ensuring that any such act involves ’No Rights Without Remedies’. Such a foundation will establish a way to get quickly, easily and cheaply before conciliation or a tribunal to have rights acknowledged and enforced. Meanwhile, rights we thought we had are disappearing, as forensic science labs and police forces let citizens down by misinterpreting or not obeying the law of the land and their own regulations.

CLArion September 2022 – Justice under threat Oz-wide and in island state

The High Court has a duty to deliver transparent justice in open and full view of the people: it failed last month. Australia-wide, torture and sexual assault reveal severe problems in juvenile jails as adult prisoners are experiencing similar inhumane treatment. One state's justice system is in parlous condition with illegal audio and visual surveillance of hundreds of privileged lawyer-client discussions after police used an illegal warrant inside a jail. Was the police action a ‘witch hunt’? Did it comprise an official conspiracy to thwart the rule of law? Clear and obvious warnings month after month indicate justice in Australia is in need of a national Royal Commission covering all jurisdictions at the one time, CLA believes.

CLArion Aug 22 – It’s time States came good on justice issues

With a new Australian government attending to federal justice issues (ICAC with teeth, voice for Indigenous people, ending false court actions and – we expect – a Human Rights Act later on), it’s time States and Territories acted positively to end injustice in their jurisdictions: legal errors caused by incompetent and/or malicious police and prosecutors, inhumane juvenile jailing, adult prisons with temperatures likely to exceed 50C but no air-con system…and the fact that most Crimes Acts in Australia date, unreviewed across the board, from 110 years ago. It’s time for a major inquiry or commission into Australian ‘justice’ and whether our 2020 systems serve Australians as well as they should, CLA says.

CLArion July 2022: Push for No Rights Without Remedies

Pressure is mounting on the federal government to announce a national review leading to introducing a Human Rights Act (HRA) for Australia. A HRA is a priority issue once a National Integrity Commission law is before parliament: a full review is promised in the Labor Party platform. Meanwhile, the Justice committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly is urging improvements to the ACT Human Rights ACT – possibly as a model for a national Act – to ensure that in future there are ‘No Rights Without Remedies’.

CLArion June 2022: ‘Teals’ asked to back Human Right Act

CLA has formally asked the ’teal’ members of the Parliament, and other independents, to support a Human Rights Act (HRA) for Australia as an early, first 100 days, action item alongside a National Integrity Commission. Together, the two initiatives would rein in the excesses of politicians and elites at the top end of town, and underpin rights, liberties and justice for the bottom end among people who are doing it tough. Australia has already held its biggest-ever consultation on a HRA, with massive support for the concept. It’s time to make it happen.

CLArion May 2022: What should be the new govt’s priorities?

It should be up to We The People to set priorities for a new federal government’s early actions, not political parties. Here’s a list of issues that need urgent attention from CLA’s viewpoint (you can bet mining and farming and fracking/gas and mining and coal industries don’t need to be on any priority list for assistance!). Meanwhile, in the West, CLA will launch a hard-hitting documentary early this month: in it, real people tell real-life stories of justice and legal system failure. Also, in this issue is a litany of neglect, ignorance, lack of caring and failure to allocate appropriate funding to juveniles: these are unconscionable ’state crimes’ against children in one of the world’s richest societies.

CLArion April 2022: Parliament powerless over Covid-19 rules

Australia’s governance system allows Ministers to impose over-the-top rules and regulations without Parliament able to have a say. The system should be changed, CLA says. In this issue, we report on the new ‘Right To Appeal’ laws in three states – they have not opened any floodgates: many wrongfully convicted people still languish in our jails. And we note that lawyer David McBride, the alleged whistleblower, is the only person so far charged over alleged murders and assaults on Afghan nationals by members of the ADF's SAS, despite four years of initial investigation and now a further 18-month (and counting) second internal inquiry.