Domestic violence cases where police are the perpetrators, or where they ignore women’s pleas for help, are highlighting how the system of police-investigating-police (PIP) means officers can get off scot-free in cases where their actions should be brought to public account. Even the Queensland Parliament is complaining that the PIP system doesn’t work, and must change.
It has been reported that NSW police are accepting secret reports of sexual assault in a dangerous new type of vigilantism. Asked to comment verbally by the media, Civil Liberties Australia chose to put our concerns in writing. Here is our statement.
At the height of pandemic panic in 2020, a top national body tried to tell people which way to turn when exercising around a lake. The advice turned out to be superfluous and useless…but it raised the basic question of how far can governments make you go, and in what direction?
The ACT is about to get updated whistleblower laws…but are the changes enough? ANU law students from the social justice stream examine how naked a ‘ whistler’ can seem to become when all the supposed safety shields are stripped away from him, or her.
What are the drivers behind the Covid-a9 vaccinations, its priority delivery, the seeking of herd immunity…and whether the vaccine must be made mandatory? In a special cooperative project, CLA and its expert members helped a team of students work through the dilemmas to produce a thought-provoking paper.
The recommendations of Victoria’s Royal Commission into the Mental Health System provide a positive way forward, says Reg Murray, who lived through the old, antiquated thinking of yesterday’s laws. He welcomes Premier Daniel Andrews’ promise to implement all the 65 of the changes proposed.
Police investigating police misconduct – and producing no case to answer, or a whitewash – is common throughout Australis. Paul Gregoire tells of some recent cases, and CLA provides some better ways of handling complaints against police generally.
Sudden, dramatic apologies by the Tasmanian Premier and Police Commissioner over investigative and management failures by Tasmanian Police since 2009 have added a possible late-breaking, new dimension to the appeal by Sue Neill-Fraser against her murder conviction, which begins in Hobart on Monday 1 March 2021. The apologies bring back to public notice a 60-page critique of alleged police failures in the SNF investigation: it was submitted to a coroner’s court in 2014, but its contents have never seen the light of day. The appeal court could be better informed if it demands to examine the dossier.
All Australian jurisdictions have agreed, after years of research and national discussions, to raise the Age of Criminal Responsibility for children from 10, but have failed to act together on an agreement reached in 2020. The ACT has decided the issue is so important that it will go it alone by the end of 2021, showing a lead to the other states and the NT, and will raise the age from 10 to 14.
The Institue of Public Affairs – Australia’s prime agency of the right – has an income of about $7m a year. including $4m in donations from the big end of town. It spent in 2020 just under $7m in pushing it point of view. And did so successfully, as former employees of the IPA now dot the federal parliamentary landscape, taking up influential positions.