Hypocrisy award goes to anti-Territory MP

How would you described Australian Members of Parliament who want Pacific islanders to have more rights and greater decision-making powers than the Australians whom the MPs represent? Hypocrites would be the only world: meet the retiring Kevin Andrews MHR and Minister for the Pacific, Senator Zed Seselja…islander advocates but no lovers of equal democratic rights for all Aussies.

CLA VP calls for safeguarding personal images

Police Minister’s so-called ‘ring of steel’ is actually giant privacy-invading mechanism, with no public, police or political-legislative safeguards, CLA VP Rajan Venkataraman says. It’s typical of a repressive approach to governing in a state which has no human rights charter to provide a modest baseline against which to measure surveillance intrusion into citizens’ lives.

Why SNF conviction needs overturning

Wrongful convictions expert Prof Dr Bob Moles has written to Members of the Tasmanian Parliament explaining why they should intervene to ensure justice for Sue Neill-Fraser, the woman convicted – in error, CLA and many liberties, rights and legal experts believe – for killing her husband Bob Chappell, on Australia Day 2009 on board a yacht moored in Sandy Bay, Hobart. The Yacht-No-Body case has riven Tasmania in two, with the state’s Establishment figures and systems fiercely resisting to acknowledge massive errors in the original trial which saw her jailed more than 12 years ago. Read What the Court Got Wrong, and How To Fix the Mess, by Dr Moles and his wife and co-author, Prof Bibi Sangha.

Restoring equal rights to Territorians

A man who was there are at the foundations of legal structures in Canberra, Allan N Hall AM, has explained clearly why citizens of the the NT – and of the ACT – should have equal rights to all citizens of Australian States in a submission to the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. The committee clearly states it is considering voting rights, and is not interested in rehashing the voluntary assisted dying debate The committee’s report is due on 6 October 2021.

Confidence in Australian democracy plummets

A federal parliament committee is hearing widespread views on the state of Australian democracy, including our inability to amend the Constitution and a reluctance to hold many referendums, in a series of ‘public’ meetings available to all citizens through streaming. Here is a precis of the comments in a submission by academic Dr Bede Harris, who has recently launched a major book on the subject.

Legal, police experts want SNF appeal re-opened

Two experts, Hugh Selby and Barbara Etter, have formally asked Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer to re-open the ‘in limbo’ appeal by Sue Neill-Fraser into her 2010 conviction for murdering her husband, Bob Chappell, aboard a yacht moored in Sandy Bay, Hobart, in 2009. The appeal has been heard, but a decision is awaited. The experts say police incompetence, or worse, has never been examined in the SNF case: if it was, she may well be acquitted.

Q. to CLA: How about we adopt an Australia Card?

It sounds so simple, just adopt an ID card that you must carry with you everywhere to ‘sign in’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. But how quickly would surveillance-creep go viral, and your movements be subjected to watching and recording every second of every day, all year, everywhere, by the police, spooks and governments? Massive safeguards are needed to protect our privacy and our private information, CLA says.

Are we losing our liberties?

Are Australians losing liberties under the pandemic? There’s a strict, legal answer…and then the practical reality of what’s occurring. But the real lesson is that only eternal vigilance – and a federal Human Rights Act – will protect our freedoms. ‘The struggle for civil liberties is a journey that’s never ending,’ former High Court judge, Michael Kirby, says.