Militarised guards create potential firezone with children as collateral damage

Assault-style weapons proliferate throughout the external parliamentary precinct: armed guards patrol the ricochet-rich foyer. Into this potential bullet-riddled firezone Australia’s politicians invite subsidised schoolchildren in their hundreds every day the Parliament sits. With schools and embassies (including that of China) in nearby over-shoot range, even an accidental discharge could create personal tragedy or international incident.

State’s forensics in ageing decline, audit finds

An audit office analysis of the state of forensic analysis support for the court system in Queensland shows it is causing delays (some caused by errors, some averaging six months), is riddled by inefficiencies in cross-department cooperation and may in future be subject to failure because police cannot guarantee an audit trail of the exhibits they store. CLA’s CEO Bill Rowlings reports on damming findings that require immediate police, health department and government attention.

DFAT: Report on 2019 Annual NGO Forum on Human Rights    

Forums between civil society organisations and the government departments provide excellent opportunities for robust, two-way exchanges of thoughts and opinions. The February 2019 DFAT forum saw some sharp exchanges as NGOs tried to hold the government accountable for seeming human rights abuses. But, as CLA Director Eloise McLean reports, much responsibility for how Australia respects human rights now rests with the ‘action’ agency, the Department of Home Affairs.

Liberty loses in the Budget

Cartoon with thanks to John Ditchburn, InkcinctCivil liberties and human rights lost out in Budget 2013. Not only did they lose to the police, security-like agencies and the spooks by not receiving funds, but some civil justice and human rights areas we…