Time for PM to take responsibility, and act decisively

Philip Gaetjens, head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, is the wrong person to hold the fate of alleged ’sports rorts’ minister Bridget McKenzie in his hands. PM Scott Morrison should be deciding whether his minister met his ministerial standards. And he should do so quickly, and then act decisively. The fiasco has run too long already

‘Absurd’ Dutton proposal castigated by judge

A Federal Court judge, tucked away during a hearing in the never-time of Christmas Eve, has lambasted Minister Dutton’s Immigration Department proposals for how to handle a refugee’s visa application as ‘absurd’ and ‘ridiculous’. Castigating the government, he has ordered a prompt decision by Dutton in a case where Australia has mentally tortured a Sri Lankan for nigh on a decade, including by using ’secret evidence’ against him.

From the heart of Australia, in support of Assange

France’s Yellow Vesters will carry a message from the heart of Australia, Alice Springs, all the way to Julian Assange in Belmarsh jail in England. Assange is in jail for ‘jumping bail’ and hiding out at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London…but the USA wants to extradite him to a possible death sentence in American courts. The Alice rally is on 25 January at 4.30pm. Other rallies are being held nationally and internationally. More rallies are scheduled for late February, as Assange’s court hearing begins.

Vigil remembers, seeks justice for Sue Neill-Fraser

A vigil outside Parliament House Hobart on Saturday 25 Jan 2020 from 11-1pm will remember Bob Chappell, who disappeared overnight on Australia Day 2009. No body has been found. His wife of 18 years, Sue Neill-Fraser, remains wrongly imprisoned for his ‘murder’ 10 years later, CLA believes. Her new appeal begins in May this year. Details: http://www.neill-fraser-support-group.org.au/

Police-prison ‘industry’ most dangerous workplace in NSW?

Statistics show that more deaths occur in the police-prisons workplace than in the supposed highly dangerous industries in NSW. But deaths in police-prisons facilities are ignored in workplace health and safety analysis. For the sake of police and prison workers, at the very least, the impacts of deaths in such facilities must be formally referred to the workplace regulator for proper investigation, analysis and downstream action.

January 2020 CLArion newsletter: CLA helps chalk up rare win as initiatives begin on prisons, press freedom, whistleblowers 

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

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Website aims to regain photos from ‘facevault’

Tasmanians have lost the right to their own images: their driver licence photos been handed over willy-nilly by the state government to the federal security apparatus…in advance of proposed new national laws being passed to make the spooky ‘facevault’ legal. CLA Director Richard Griggs has empowered people to protest through a new website www.deletemyphoto.net

Reforming Australian prisons in the ‘second convict age’

CLA campaigns for the rights of prisoners…and for saving taxpayers’ money. We call our approach ‘smart on crime, rather than the ‘tough on crime’ mantra. That’s the false propaganda microphoned out by politicians and news media before elections. Their way lies bigger prisons, more prisoners, fewer people rehabilitated and much greater cost to the purses and wallet of citizens, which achieves no improvement or benefit – at a time when crime is falling. This article is about CLA’s approach, and a prisoner’s right to vote, to actively pursue a better education and to gain some marketable skills through reading while locked away. CLA Vice-President Rajan Venkataraman reports.

Dec 2019 CLArion newsletter: ASIO spins and leaks as Australia is confirmed as turning into a police-security state

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.