Honouring people who have served Australia in notable ways is an honourable thing to do.While feting our war dead and the living former soldiers, we have an equal duty to critically examine the wars of the past and present, measuring how we got involved, what the outcome and result looks like in hindsight, and whether we can avoid making mistakes in how and why we enter wars in future, Keith McEwan wrote, originally in 2011.
The government continues to commit the nation to expensive litigation under the Investor State Dispute Settlement regime. Many years after the event, the true cost of the spurious Philip Morris claim against Australia for plain packaging of cigarettes is now known. We won, but paid a heavy price we should never have been liable for.
The most surprising aspect of the High Court’s decision on the lawyer-informer case involving Victoria Police is not how much the court castigated the lawyer, or how it delivered a blistering attack on the standards and culture within Victoria Police. What no-one seems to have picked up on is how seven judges of the High Court of Australia have delivered what a lay person would call a judicial threat against the lawyer: go into VicPol’s witness protection program – against your own wishes – or you are likely to lose your children, taken from you by the State.
Much productive work of CLA occurs behind the scenes, often in meetings that take eat up time: planning, preparation, deciding who should attend, attending, and then reporting. Here’s an example of a ‘dialogue’ preparation meeting, run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to help their diplomats prepare for an exchange of views with Iran over human rights.
The ’new’ Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is likely as bad as the original, but the text is still secret, so it may be worse. Ideology is over-ruling common sense. 2 Feb 2018.
Australians with intimate knowledge of our sleazy dealings over oil reserves with East Timor are delighted the Labor Party has announced a change in policy. John Martinkus explains why. 19 April 2016
Australia’s Treaties committee has celebrated 20 years, highlighting significant doubts about whether there’s a ‘democratic deficit’ if major national issues are not debated by the full parliament. 26 March 2016
One of the world’s top business schools has dissected the TPP, finding that it would undermine public accountability, thwart democratic mechanisms and harm millions of people…just for starters. 13 March 2016