Easter is a time of reflection, and of religious services for many. But CLA member Keith McEwan, a lifelong atheist who died this month aged 93, explained in an Easter missive to friends some years ago that you can “love thy neighbour” far away from prayers and churches.
Fear and bigotry is diminishing in relation to homosexuals, but they remain ‘go to’ reactions for most people when the subject of mental illness comes up. Sufferer Reg Murray explains that mental illness is just another type of disease, and sufferers should receive compassion and tender loving care, like anyone who is ill.
The federal government is likely to keep inquiring into religious freedoms in the new parliament from May 2019, because it can’t make up its mind how to reconcile giving priority to Christian religious beliefs in a secular society mandated by the Australian Constitution. The latest of many inquiries has just reported, and it at least had the good grace to quote the sensible observations of CLA.
The government continues to commit the nation to expensive litigation under the Investor State Dispute Settlement regime. Many years after the event, the true cost of the spurious Philip Morris claim against Australia for plain packaging of cigarettes is now known. We won, but paid a heavy price we should never have been liable for.
The High Court of Australia has engaged in specious, circular reasoning to kill off the old ‘Prasad Direction’, which could see unworthy criminal charges cut short in court, barrister Jack Pappas says. Now it’s time for the Attorney-General to pass a new law reinstating ‘Prasad, or to give judges new powers to end a trial at any stage.
A case in the High Court crucial to freedom of speech in Australia will be heard in the next fortnight. Michaela Banerji was sacked for tweeting anonymous criticism of the Immigration Department when she worked there. Was the sacking fair, or does she have a constitutional right to anonymous comment? Two million Australians – and a general right to free speech – await the answer, Kieran Pender writes.