Stand tall for ADF PTS reform

Defence veterans have launched yet another campaign seeking justice in dealings with the Dept of Defence. You would think, for the number of times that political heavies wrap themselves in the flag alongside men and women in uniform, that our serving personnel would be very well treated by the federal government. No so, say the vets, as the wife, Dr Kay Danes, of a four-decade soldier, Kerry, explains.

Why are governments constructing the Surveillance State?

Australia continues to rack up more and more surveillance laws, as successive governments increasingly restrict freedoms in the name of unprovable ‘cyber threats’, the latest bogeyman of the security community, which must invent new threats continuously to maintain its huge growth rate of the past 20 years. Paul Gregoire reports.

Masks inflame passionate response…’Covid is a hoax’

As a reminder that there are lots of diverse viewpoints about the dangers of Covid-19, here’s an excerpt from an email received by Civil Liberties Australia after we made a one-paragraph comment in the Sydney Morning Herald on face mask wearing during a virus pandemic. Civil liberties and human rights are always about the sometimes difficult weighing one person’s freedom with another person’s, or group’s, rights…frequently on the fulcrum of responsibility.

Identify…disrupt: Dutton to further extend surveillance state

The drip-drip-drip of inexorable increasingly-repressive surveillance laws keep emanating from the black hole of Home Affairs, run by Minister Peter Dutton and his sidekick Mike ‘The Pezz’ Pezzullo. The title of their latest Bill explains what they want to do to the Australian people and society: Identify and Disrupt.

Stop the Prosecution!

In capital cities around Australia, 9 November marked ’Stop the Prosecution!s’ day when supporters called on Australia’s Attorney-General Christian Porter to end the secret trials of Witness K from ASIS and his lawyer Bernard Collaery. Their trials – secret evidence in closed courts – are contrary to the rule of law, which the AG is supposedly the guardian of.

Does Australia need a separate Integrity Branch?

It’s useful to review old critiques when new ones emerge, particularly to see if time has changed what’s important. Here’s a 2017 paper on integrity bodies. It suggests that, to secure funding against a recalcitrant Executive government, there should be a “special branch” of integrity agencies that get rum and rations directly from Parliament. What a good idea! Bring on a national ICAC with teeth.

Restoring trust: CLA calls for two initiatives to win back the people

CLA will appear before the Inquiry into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy on Friday 13 November 2020. The inquiry is being held by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee. In its submission, CLA has told the committee two initiatives are needed to win back the trust of the people of Australia in our federal parliament: a National Anti-Corrupt Commission, with robust powers to investigate the actions or inactions of politicians and bureaucrats, and a bill of rights to power to the people enforce their liberties and freedoms when government tries to take them away.