Riots highlight how and why the rule of law is a better guide to freedom and liberties than is the notion of democracy, Prof Richard Mulgan writes. For that reason, Australian society should be underpinned by a human rights act which guarantees all key aspects of what we think of as the rule of law.
The federal government is hell bent on boosting its powers to call out the troops at a moment’s notice anywhere in Australia, and even in anticipation of a problem occurring. The new law, now being considered by a parliamentary committee, would be perfect for using the Army, Navy and Air Force to protect President Trump when he visits, or to stop protestors at Adani mine or port sites, where fracking is about to get under way or any environmental protest is likely. The power to call out the troops should be very tightly constrained, which is the opposite of how this draft bill is written, says CLA CEO Bill Rowlings.
Civil Liberties Australia member and first-year ANU law student Elly McLean was pleased to be asked to be part of a CLA team appearing before a parliamentary committee inquiry. She was able to experience first-hand how laws are shaped and honed, and how groups like CLA make submissions and take part in ‘live’ hearings, which are recorded for the formal Hansard report of parliament’s proceedings. Here she gives her impressions of her first committee experience…indeed, her very first visit to the Australian Parliament.
The High Court has washed its hands of a precise ruling over the same-sex marriage plebiscite – is this a case of a ‘responsible’ body walking away from its apparent duty? 3 Oct 2017
No matter who wins the next state election, there’s a dire need to deliver a fair go and equity as much as economics and ‘law and order’, says Tom Percy. 5 Dec 2016
The High Court’s consideration of the tale of two Senators – Culleton and Day – calls for a bench of judges to make a ruling for all time, says CLA’s V-P Timothy Vines. 8 Nov 2016
Australia’s federal MPs are for sale to foreign buyers…for very little, if the Senator Sam Dastyari purchase is representative. Prof George Williams comments it’s time to Act.
One of the world’s top business schools has dissected the TPP, finding that it would undermine public accountability, thwart democratic mechanisms and harm millions of people…just for starters. 13 March 2016
A same-sex marriage plebiscite could confirm an already-passed law. That way would give the national vote real bite when we cast our ballots, says Tim Vines 24 Feb 16