Bushfire hesitancy, climate change uncertainty and sports rorts chicanery are indicators that national leadership and management is sub-optimal as Australia faces major issues from the start of the 2020s. The problem is exacerbated in the areas of civil liberties and human rights, because they rank lowly on the list of what politicians concern themselves about. Australia needs to swap the majority of its pollies for statesmen and stateswomen, people who can identify – and will take the lead on – addressing the fundamental problems and opportunities to build Australia into a fairer society and a better nation.
A former Chief Justice dropped a ‘bombshell’ when his year-long inquiry in WA found criminal assets-seizing laws were “largely unconcerned whether confiscation is fair or just’. CLA has campaigned against the laws for about 15 years. Similar laws elsewhere should also end, as should a cosy new scheme where governments divide up their jointly ill-gotten proceeds stemming from bad law. In 2020, new campaigns will try to to end senseless, arbitrary censorship inside prisons and make ‘law and order’ elections less popular, while the main law reform body will focus on financial services, defamation, press freedom and whistleblowers.
- AGs’ work program includes tackling betting in sport
- Reforms planned for enduring power of attorney
- Committee wants to give Minister Dutton more power
- ‘Christian conservatives have never had it so good’: Patten
- ‘Tax is a symptom of mental health prejudice’: member letter
- Who ‘owns’ the law? DNA can be two-faced
Supposed ’secret’ agents pick up a megaphone to leak news which suits their world view, then dumb politicians jump on to the bandwagon created from gossamer ‘facts’. Welcome to the new police-security state that Australia is becoming. We’re losing liberties and freedoms because Ministers and Parliament no longer safeguard people’s human rights. Instead, doyens of the nation’s academia and law say, they legislate ‘poorly and over-broadly’ – besotted by terrorism – when a much greater danger is domestic violence, for example. A Bill of Rights is just one fundamental needed to restore balance in our society.
The first glimmers of light have emerged for and end to draconian anti-terror laws, and a concerted community push to ensure freedom of the press. A parliamentary committee has sent a bill back for re-drafting. Rallies throughout Australia, backed by civil liberties, human rights and lawyer groups, are highlighting how perverse is the government’s continuing persecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery. And at last a long-quiescent media has woken up to its responsibilities to safeguard all of our freedoms, including freedom of the press. We suddenly live in greater hope.
Little by little, those who govern the nation are conditioning the people to the concept of increasing mandatory behaviour imposed from on high. The 2021 census is being planned with new, intrusive and must-answer questions on gender, sex and personal health. At the same time, ignorant and arrogant politicians want to legislate for mandatory sentences, instead of letting the legal experts called judges do their jobs…after they have heard all claims and counter-claims.
The spookmeisters have emerged from deep hiding to defend their over-the-top raids on the homes of journalists and the national HQ of the ABC. They’ve trotted out ghosts and hobgoblins in yet another fear-raising exercise to suit their secret aims. An MP has described Australia as a ‘pre-police state’…but we are very quickly moving past the ‘pre’ stage as recent events demonstrate.
A new Niki Savva book exposing the soap opera around Malcolm Turnbull’s demise as PM paints MPs in a very poor light. Meanwhile, police officers themselves are joining the campaign to end the highly problematic practice of police investigating police. Officers say they don’t get a fair hearing over medical, OH&S and PTSD issues; citizens say they don’t get a fair hearing when they complain about police.
We have a new government, but the same old problems remain: citizenship issues, legal systems gone awry, refugee claimants in limbo, and re-born Ministers with a proven history of putting their interests ahead of those of the people. Stand by to go back to the future.
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.