Tas Police: secret, illegal keepers of the dark arts

Recent revelations of secret recordings of lawyers and their clients at Risdon Prison by Tasmanian Police over two months raised major alarm bells. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has been consistently calling out TasPol for its recording devices and surveillance warrant failures for years. TasPol's “compliance culture” is lacking, the Ombudsman says. In other words, TasPol does not obey the law. SPECIAL ANALYSIS reveals how extensive the TasPol problem is: nothing less than a full inquiry into TasPol will get to the root causes of its problems.

Warrants: how Tas compares; why reform needed

Police can self-authorise some warrants, or get a magistrate or judge to issue others. But whatever method is mandated, warrants are frequently incorrectly issued in Australia on false, dodgy or incomplete information containing wrong details and not meeting legal requirements, or by unauthorised people. The Commonwealth monitors warrant processes, and its Ombudsman has singled out one state in particular, Tasmania, for compliance and culture criticism over the past few years

Behind the secrecy in Bernard Collaery case

What was so secret about the Bernard Collaery and Witness K case? It couldn’t have been the bugging of the East Timorese Cabinet rooms, as that was well known. Perhaps it was deeper and longer-term spying on who the East Timorese leaders were planning to throw their lot in with, over suspicions of Chinese influence of concern to Australia 20 years ago, Dr Richie Gun surmises.

Barrister promises revelations: ‘reprehensible’ police

Fallout from ‘reprehensible’ behaviour by Tasmanian Police is likely to reverberate around Australia in legal circles as barristers pillory how TasPol and the Office of the DPP handled a five-year alleged harassment of lawyer Jeff Thompson. The DPP dropped the case – at virtually the last possible moment – this week. More revelations about possibly appalling and illegal police behaviour are yet to emerge when earlier court-ordered suppression orders are lifted.

New Labor govt: what chance a Human Rights Act?

The federal Labor Party’s election platform for 2022 promises a ‘Review of the Human Rights Framework’ for Australia.The new government has also promised to create an international Human Rights Ambassador. CLA is campaigning for a review in the first 100 days, alongside developing a National Integrity Commission. In 2009 the Brennan Inquiryundertook had the biggest consultation in Australia’s history on the subject of human rights, with an overwhelming positive response by Australians. Now is time to introduce a Human Rights Act, or Bill of Rights, for Australia. Read the latest news.

CLArion March 2022: No Rights Without Remedies needed

CLA is working hard behind the scenes to encourage a new approach to Human Rights Acts, federally and in the states and territories. The aim is to ensure that all such Acts in future contain simple, easy, quick and cheap access to a remedy – starting with a conciliation process, through a tribunal to a senior court if necessary – for people to have their rights enforced against political and bureaucratic decisions. An inquiry in the ACT will soon consider the issues in detail.