The Dutch tax office issued 20,000 ‘false’ claims of debt fraud against its citizens: the Dutch government resigned. The Australian government issued 470,00 ‘false’ debt claims against its citizens. No-one resigned.Australian politicians don’t even have Dutch courage.
A couple in Canada have been fined roughly $1500 dollars each after police found a woman walking her husband on a leash in contravention of Quebec’s strict curfew rules. According to local media, the woman told police she was merely out “walking her dog,” one of the few activities allowed during the 8pm to 5am curfew.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Year 6 student wrote a letter about the sameness of judges to a newspaper. CLA President Dr Kristine Klugman passed the letter to eminent retired jurist Michael Kirby, who took the time to write this personal reply to the young man…
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.
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.
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.