A case in the High Court crucial to freedom of speech in Australia will be heard in the next fortnight. Michaela Banerji was sacked for tweeting anonymous criticism of the Immigration Department when she worked there. Was the sacking fair, or does she have a constitutional right to anonymous comment? Two million Australians – and a general right to free speech – await the answer, Kieran Pender writes.
Parts of civil society are actively rebelling against a ‘sham’ public consultation process by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that looks set to lead to a new Australia Card proposal or something very similar. Mr Dutton’s only public consultation meeting before pitching a new public ID and privacy system to COAG will be a 150-minute discussion on 22 October in Melbourne. The agenda is pre-determined for attendees to be spoken at, rather than being listened…and Dutton’s anti-privacy stance is well known from his very first speech to parliament.
Fury was the initial response on social media among Defence personnel to allegations against special forces soldiers. But as new details emerge almost daily, there’s recognition that leaders at many levels within the Australian Defence Force may have as many questions to answer as the troops. If accountability failures extend throughout the organisation, Army wife Kay Danes writes, an open and transparent Senate inquiry would be the least mechanism needed to get to the bottom of the allegedly widespread management problems in the ADF.
How constrained are public servants in expressing their private opinions in the lead-up to coming elections? Perhaps not as free from restraint as you might think, says John Wilson. 15 April 2016
Data retention legislation is awful, but the Minister Dutton’s proposed ‘Refugee Riot Act’ breaks all the international rules about human rights of anyone, not just refugees, CLA says. 8 April 2015
School CCTV may proliferate as a new academic year begins…but are there dangers? Dr Emmeline Taylor, author of a new book on the subject, explores the issue.
The Tax Office is again employing the Australian Crime Commission. Last time, it cost Australia a fortune. When will the ATO learn…or do due diligence inquiries before contracting?
One magic rabbit in the US has been freed from the need for a disaster plan. Regulation writers appear to be…well…breeding like rabbits. Animals are under siege: we need a Civil Liberties Action Plan for Animals (CLAPA). Do you have a tale of rules gone rabid? Please let us have your story…
Pro athletes are at the bottom of the pecking order in sport, and get picked on by everyone above them, and by the media, even though they alone carry the responsibility of being drug-free. It’s time we developed a way of giving athletes more say and co…