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.

Asylum seekers, refugees and Covid-19: most vulnerable, most exposed?

Vulnerable refugee claimants are at greater risk of catching Covid-19 illness because of where they are housed, and general poor nutrition and ill-health because of their poverty. Without incomes as the economy grinds to a halt, their plight is worsening. Meanwhile the Australian government appears to have a policy of deliberating slowing down their ‘day in court’ by appointing the wrong people to the main tribunal that hears refugee claims. CLA Director Jennifer Ashton tells the story.

Crisis causes power to aggregate centrally

As the virus crisis bites deeper into daily life, more people are starting to question what freedoms and liberties we are giving up at the behest of an ever-shrinking ‘executive’ ruling group, comprising a hotch-potch of people from MPs to mining bosses and public servants with interesting track records. CLA member Carolyn van Langenberg airs some opinions alternate to the mainstream groupthink.

If your MP says they are ‘tough on crime’, show them this:

For all those politicians (and the media) who posture at being “tough on crime” and who bring in mandatory sentences to appear to be “smart” legislators telling magistrates and judges how to make decisions and pass sentences, hear this plea from a real live criminal lawyer dealing with the consequences of such irresponsible political action in the Northern Territory…

‘Absurd’ Dutton proposal castigated by judge

A Federal Court judge, tucked away during a hearing in the never-time of Christmas Eve, has lambasted Minister Dutton’s Immigration Department proposals for how to handle a refugee’s visa application as ‘absurd’ and ‘ridiculous’. Castigating the government, he has ordered a prompt decision by Dutton in a case where Australia has mentally tortured a Sri Lankan for nigh on a decade, including by using ’secret evidence’ against him.