Reining in the ’national security’ secrecy claims in courts

Not very long ago, a secret prisoner was discovered quite by chance in the ACT jail (even the ACT Prisons/Justice Minister did not know he was there). The prisoner, given the pseudonym ‘Alan Johns’, was a victim of being tried in secret under “national security” legislation. The laws that enable that abuse of his rights, and the rights of all Australians to know what happens in the courts, is now under detailed scrutiny by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Grant Donaldson. Here is CLA’s submission (authored by VP Rajan Venkataraman) to the process, and the separate sub of CLA member Kathryn Kelly also.

Masks inflame passionate response…’Covid is a hoax’

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.

Australia extradites with one hand tied, costing Aussies liberty

Australia’s one-side extradition regime gives citizens of other countries much greater legal protection than Australian citizens get. Other countries simply have to allege wrongdoing, and Australia locks up – and extradites – people living in Australia. But going in the other direction, we have to prove, with evidence, our case before other nations will hand over people in their jursidiction. It’s stupid law, and even crazier civil liberties.

Coronavirus Pandemic: Statements by CLA

For all the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, then in the longer-term recovery to normal phase, civil liberties and human rights must be integrated into every decision of all authorities. While a health and emergency policing response is vital, so too is ensuring that the maximum freedoms of Australians are respected at all times. Premiers and others are in danger of forgetting peoples’ rights matter too!

Qld’s new Emergency law comes with inbuilt rights protection

Queensland’s four-month old human rights protection law is doing its job: in a new Covid-19 ‘Emergency’ law, there’s protection for Queenslanders because no provisions of the new law can over-ride the state’s Human Rights Act which came into force on 1 January 2020. Some other Australian jurisdictions should take note.