CLA campaigns for the rights of prisoners…and for saving taxpayers’ money. We call our approach ‘smart on crime, rather than the ‘tough on crime’ mantra. That’s the false propaganda microphoned out by politicians and news media before elections. Their way lies bigger prisons, more prisoners, fewer people rehabilitated and much greater cost to the purses and wallet of citizens, which achieves no improvement or benefit – at a time when crime is falling. This article is about CLA’s approach, and a prisoner’s right to vote, to actively pursue a better education and to gain some marketable skills through reading while locked away. CLA Vice-President Rajan Venkataraman reports.
The state government’s secretive sending of our driver licence photos to a mysterious national ID database has come as a rude shock to Tasmanians. What other unrevealed changes has the government imposed on our traditional liberties, rights and freedoms? ‘Full transparency was promised’, but where is it? Richard Griggs asks.
Two legal academics, Dr Bob Moles and Associate Professor Bibi Sangha, have critically examined the Sue Neill-Fraser conviction in Tasmania in 2010, producing a detailed analysis of factual, interpretational and inferential errors involving witnesses, the prosecution and decisions of the judge. They conclude that Neill-Fraser, now in what they believe is her 10th year of wrongful imprisonment, should be released immediately…as occurred in Victoria when a major error was identified in a trial. Victoria was able to acquit an innocent man who had been wrongfully committed one working day after error was acknowledged by the prosecution. So should it be in Tasmania, they say.
Note: Bob Moles Home page on the Sue Neill-Fraser case is here: http://netk.net.au/EtterHome.asp
The Tasmanian government is having another crack at introducing Australia’s worst – and most expensive, for citizens – anti-protest laws. The High Court threw out their first attempt. Now an ‘openly deceptive’ government is trying to sneak in laws which would instantly turn minor peaceful protest almost anywhere in Tasmania into a major crime. You can sign the e-petition.
The Tasmanian government is again reneging on a promise, this time over a proposed new protest law, introducing massive penalties to restrict genuine protest by concerned citizens along with draconian provisions for police to enforce. Indpendents in Parliament must reject this ‘outrageous law’, CLA’s Tasmanian Director Richard Griggs says.
It’s time to end the unfair practice of the same police force investigating shooting deaths, alleged stun gun abuse, police car chase fatal accidents and major complaints about police behaviour. CLA believes citizens will never get justice from police ”internal” affairs probes until the “internal” bit is replaced by independent investigators and other representing a civil liberties and human rights viewpoint. The time to change is now.
For all its rhetoric, the Tasmanian government in practice does not enable citizen and media freedom, secretly surveils its citizens, and refuses to properly fund, staff and facilitate Right To Information processes. MPs should shed their party blinkers and stand up for the people, against myopic Ministers and secretive bureaucrats.
The annual reports of three Queensland mental health bodies raise some alarming issues. Chief amongst them, as in other jurisdictions, is that mental health appears to be surrounded by a bureaucratic industry, rather than being an illness like any other.
Is it time for national standards on mental health, particularly in the controversial are of electro convulsive therapy (ECT).
The ongoing, unjustifiable and petty legal action against Witness K, formerly of ASIS, and lawyer Bernard Collaery demand that the government holds a public inquiry into Australia’as negotiations over the Timor Gap oil treaty 15 years ago, just as the question of freedom of the press to report becomes top of mind. Both issues call into question the continuing, and increasing, dominance of the Executive over the Parliament in what is meant to be a balanced democracy.
In an extension of the perfidy that passes for “security measures”, Minister Dutton is again bent on spying and prying into your and my private affairs with the aid of a thoroughly devalued US Administration accused of corrupt international requests. It is well past time that the Australian Parliament had the courage to rein in the excesses of out-of-control ideologue Ministers. MPs need to stand up for our rights to privacy and the liberty of being free from Big Brother abuse.