Australia’s first birth was premature. We held a big party, but didn’t invite the people who should have been first on the list. Now, as we debate which day to celebrate our anniversary, we have a chance for a re-birthing Constitution that will create a new Australia with everyone sharing equally. Then we can all come to the party on Australia Day, the day we formally pass the new, foundational law. Christian J. Bennett writes.
For nearly 30 years, since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, Australia’s rate of jailing Indigenous people has been going totally in the wrong direction, says ACT Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Drumgold. The option of ever-increasing sentences hasn’t worked so, he says, it’s time we totally switched our thinking towards solutions that work in other countries rather than continuing failed policies that not only have not worked, but have been demonstrated for decades to not work to solve an ongoing problem.
The fate of Australia’s First Nations Peoples is intrinsically important to all Australians. Their debate in mid-year in Canberra should be the starting point for a wider general discussion, over a number of years, to resolve fundamental questions of what elements of history comprise us, who we all are as a nation today, and what we aspire to becoming in the century ahead as a relatively small group of people living independently on an island continent a long way away from most other nations on earth. Christian Bennett comments.
Real justice – as opposed to expensive, unproductive ‘law and order’ auctions around election times – helps the victims heal as well as punishing the perpetrators, says WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin. He gives examples of progressive justice systems being introduced throughout Australia, many of them learning from the practices that imbued Aboriginal culture over tens of decades of history in Australia. Read his Sir Ninian Stephen 2018 lecture.
The ever-increasing rate of Aboriginal jailing in Australia ‘shocks the conscience’ and comprises ‘unequal justice’, says WA’s Chief Justice Wayne Martin. He calls for urgent meaningful remedies. 10 July 2017
People will be surprised to learn that, in two major Australian states, abortion is illegal. It’s time to end the subterfuge, and makes sure the law allows women choice. 14 June 2016
NT police powers to make ‘paperless arrests’ are completely contrary to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, says Thalia Anthony: more deaths are likely. 8 June 2015
Insidiously, fundamental justice cornerstones of our society are being eaten away as government Acts and actions diminish respect for, and operation of, the Rule of Law, Lou Coutts says. 4 June 2015
There’s a danger we could sleepwalk our way into losing our liberties, Michael Cornish says, as he examines some disturbing trends in how people are being treated. 10 April 2015