The expert panel inquiring into religious freedom should be very clear exactly what ‘freedom of religion’ means in Australia, CLA says in its inquiry submission. The notion includes the rights of atheists, no mandating of ‘religiosity’ in schools, and no promoting of religion by the state. We should also have protections as constant benchmark comparators, such as those contained in the Bill of Rights Australians should have to protect ongoing individual freedom of choice.
Civil Liberties Australia’s submission to federal parliament’s Electoral Matters inquiry has called on the committee to ensure that NGOs are safeguarded against the intrusive and punitive provisions in the first draft of the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017. The bill is negatively focused, and continues a trend to restrict and impose burdens on democratic communication in Australia, CLA says. Why is the parliament not producing, instead, positive reforms that further enable, expand and facilitate access to democracy by Australian citizens? CLA asks.
People will be surprised to learn that, in two major Australian states, abortion is illegal. It’s time to end the subterfuge, and makes sure the law allows women choice. 14 June 2016
In a telling speech, retiring Chief Justice of Australia, Robert French, has urged citizens and lawyers to fight, loudly and strongly, to keep our traditional rights, liberties and freedoms. 10 May 2016
Protest laws around Australia are being beefed up against the citizen as police seek ascendancy over the people in a dangerous shifting of the democratic power balance in society. 19 April 2016
How constrained are public servants in expressing their private opinions in the lead-up to coming elections? Perhaps not as free from restraint as you might think, says John Wilson. 15 April 2016
Control of science and research in Australia now vests in the Department of Defence, which has a veto over communication and collaboration by Australian scientists with their overseas counterparts. 4 April 2016
Australia’s Treaties committee has celebrated 20 years, highlighting significant doubts about whether there’s a ‘democratic deficit’ if major national issues are not debated by the full parliament. 26 March 2016
A NSW tribunal has ruled it’s illegal to segregate public meetings on gender. The ruling, at the request of CLA member Alison Bevege, may have national and international ramifications. 5 March 2016
A bad law, due to start in April, will see the work of Australian scientists severely curtailed…or they risk $400,000 fines and 10 years in jail, Kevin Korb writes. 1 Mar 2016