Tas Police: secret, illegal keepers of the dark arts

Recent revelations of secret recordings of lawyers and their clients at Risdon Prison by Tasmanian Police over two months raised major alarm bells. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has been consistently calling out TasPol for its recording devices and surveillance warrant failures for years. TasPol's “compliance culture” is lacking, the Ombudsman says. In other words, TasPol does not obey the law. SPECIAL ANALYSIS reveals how extensive the TasPol problem is: nothing less than a full inquiry into TasPol will get to the root causes of its problems.

What are the laws about police warrants?

Police can self-authorise some warrants, or get a magistrate or judge to issue others. But whatever method is mandated, warrants are frequently incorrectly issued in Australia on false, dodgy or incomplete information containing wrong details and not meeting legal requirements, or by unauthorised people. The Commonwealth monitors warrant processes, and its Ombudsman has singled out one state in particular, Tasmania, for compliance and culture criticism over the past few years

Barrister promises revelations: ‘reprehensible’ police

Fallout from ‘reprehensible’ behaviour by Tasmanian Police is likely to reverberate around Australia in legal circles as barristers pillory how TasPol and the Office of the DPP handled a five-year alleged harassment of lawyer Jeff Thompson. The DPP dropped the case – at virtually the last possible moment – this week. More revelations about possibly appalling and illegal police behaviour are yet to emerge when earlier court-ordered suppression orders are lifted.

NSW expands unexplained wealth seizures using secret surveillance

Election in the offing: law ’n order pollies get desperate. Both major parties want new ‘frighten the citizens laws’, reducing people’s rights, increasing secret surveillance, giving police yet more powers. Pollies pretend the ill-thought-through laws will reduce crime. More likely crime will increase. Stand by for other ghastly laws from the skeleton hands of Premier Perrottet and Pals of the NSW parliamentary ghost train, where scare the punters trumps care for the citizens.

Police chiefs won’t accept responsibility

A worldwide problem – police not accepting responsibility for incompetence in evidence gathering and prosecutions, poor leadership, and an inability to change with the times, particularly in relation to domestic violence – is evidenced by the resignation letter of London Met Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick. Australian police chiefs too should be held to account for what happens, or the change that doesn’t happen, in their forces.

Forensics in Australia roiled by ‘outsider’ criticisms

Forensic science throughout Australia has caused massive miscarriages of justice. There’s Mallard in WA, Farah Jama in Victoria, Gordon Wood and claimed spearchucking a body at The Gap in NSW, Lindy Chamberlain, the Dingo and sound-deadening material in the NT…and, CLA believes, the Sue Neill-Fraser ‘Yacht No Body’ case in Tasmania. But still forensic scientists appear to be super-resistant to critiques of their opinions aimed at improving legal certainty. Here’s a report of an ongoing dispute, being played out in the global scientific media…at the instigation of an Australian polymath stargazer whose base is the foot of a telescope in the Canary Islands, south-west of Casablanca.

CLA VP calls for safeguarding personal images

Police Minister’s so-called ‘ring of steel’ is actually giant privacy-invading mechanism, with no public, police or political-legislative safeguards, CLA VP Rajan Venkataraman says. It’s typical of a repressive approach to governing in a state which has no human rights charter to provide a modest baseline against which to measure surveillance intrusion into citizens’ lives.

Why SNF conviction needs overturning

Wrongful convictions expert Prof Dr Bob Moles has written to Members of the Tasmanian Parliament explaining why they should intervene to ensure justice for Sue Neill-Fraser, the woman convicted – in error, CLA and many liberties, rights and legal experts believe – for killing her husband Bob Chappell, on Australia Day 2009 on board a yacht moored in Sandy Bay, Hobart. The Yacht-No-Body case has riven Tasmania in two, with the state’s Establishment figures and systems fiercely resisting to acknowledge massive errors in the original trial which saw her jailed more than 12 years ago. Read What the Court Got Wrong, and How To Fix the Mess, by Dr Moles and his wife and co-author, Prof Bibi Sangha.

Calls for Tas Attorney-General to re-open SNF appeal

[caption id="attachment_41933" align="alignleft" width="300"] How The Mercury reported MLC Mike Gaffney’s Upper House revelations.[/caption]

A Member of Tasmania’s Upper House, Michael Gaffney, has used the Parliament on 31 Aug 2021 to expose massive, newly-discovered flaws in the the original (2010) and subsequent appeal cases presented by the Crown against Sue Neill-Fraser. She is in her 12th year of a 23-year sentence for allegedly murdering her husband, Bob Chappell. CLA and most independent observers believe the woman was wrongly convicted and should be freed, immediately, and acquitted. A formal criminal appeal is under way, awaiting the verdict of three judges.

Legal, police experts want SNF appeal re-opened

Two experts, Hugh Selby and Barbara Etter, have formally asked Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer to re-open the ‘in limbo’ appeal by Sue Neill-Fraser into her 2010 conviction for murdering her husband, Bob Chappell, aboard a yacht moored in Sandy Bay, Hobart, in 2009. The appeal has been heard, but a decision is awaited. The experts say police incompetence, or worse, has never been examined in the SNF case: if it was, she may well be acquitted.