States around Australia – Tasmania, Victoria, WA – are handing over the images of their citizens collected for a driver’s licence to be used as a national crime database. Some people and groups, including CLA, are very worried how politicians can be so cavalier about people’s personal privacy.
The High Court of Australia has decided, to its legal satisfaction, that there was a sexual harasser in its midst, former judge Dyson Heydon. But the court was apparently reluctant to act (it took 15 months). And has it learned the real lesson of this sorry affair, that it is judicial hubris at the High Court in general that’s the problem, not just one randy old judge. The High Court should take a long, hard look at itself…and so should the rest of Australia examine the performance, competence and protocols of one of the three arms of national governance.
While civil society is grating the government licence to use extraordinary powers during a medical emergency, that is no excuse to abuse people’s trust by bringing in draconian measures like over-the-top surveillance and elimination of the flimsy privacy rights we still retain, CLA says.
A new rights-eroding law would increase the reach of police and spooks into our lives at the expense of our withering rights, says author Paul Gregoire writing for Sydney Criminal Lawyers. The Frankenstein legislation would enable five-ways open slather access to all phone calls, emails, data and even metadata.
Statistics show that more deaths occur in the police-prisons workplace than in the supposed highly dangerous industries in NSW. But deaths in police-prisons facilities are ignored in workplace health and safety analysis. For the sake of police and prison workers, at the very least, the impacts of deaths in such facilities must be formally referred to the workplace regulator for proper investigation, analysis and downstream action.
Prof Gillian Triggs – once Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner, now a Protection Commissioner at the UN – dissects the inadequacy of safeguards of citizens’ rights in Australia after the recent narrow ruling by Australia’s wimpish High Court on the Banerji case, She stresses how that and other cases highlight how urgent formal Rights protection is for the nation.