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.

Restoring equal rights to Territorians

A man who was there are at the foundations of legal structures in Canberra, Allan N Hall AM, has explained clearly why citizens of the the NT – and of the ACT – should have equal rights to all citizens of Australian States in a submission to the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. The committee clearly states it is considering voting rights, and is not interested in rehashing the voluntary assisted dying debate The committee’s report is due on 6 October 2021.

Confidence in Australian democracy plummets

A federal parliament committee is hearing widespread views on the state of Australian democracy, including our inability to amend the Constitution and a reluctance to hold many referendums, in a series of ‘public’ meetings available to all citizens through streaming. Here is a precis of the comments in a submission by academic Dr Bede Harris, who has recently launched a major book on the subject.

Q. to CLA: How about we adopt an Australia Card?

It sounds so simple, just adopt an ID card that you must carry with you everywhere to ‘sign in’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. But how quickly would surveillance-creep go viral, and your movements be subjected to watching and recording every second of every day, all year, everywhere, by the police, spooks and governments? Massive safeguards are needed to protect our privacy and our private information, CLA says.

Are we losing our liberties?

Are Australians losing liberties under the pandemic? There’s a strict, legal answer…and then the practical reality of what’s occurring. But the real lesson is that only eternal vigilance – and a federal Human Rights Act – will protect our freedoms. ‘The struggle for civil liberties is a journey that’s never ending,’ former High Court judge, Michael Kirby, says.

Top cop confused on legality of police actions

Was Operation Ironside illegal under Australian law? There is doubt, created by the AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw, whether the much ballyhooed Operation Ironside was carried out according to the law of the land. The first duty of our police is to obey the law, even before enforcing it. We need open and honest answers rather than confuseed bluster and PR spin, CLA says.

Federal law enforcement enters strange period

Powers-promoting TV appearances – actually, PR bids for new laws – by top police and politicians are a worrying new trend AS SEEN ON TV. The behaviour of the Coalition Government and ’The Community’ (as the security agencies and police bosses describe themselves) is a worrying new trend in how Executive government, uniformed elites and secret spooks aim to manipulate the Parliament and the people to their own ends. A recent blustering briefing on TV raised more questions than it answered, questions that demand transparent answers from the AFP hierarchy. Would the AFP have ’shopped’ the Bali 9, two of whom were executed, under the apparent new AFP arrest rules?

Call for WA govt to rein in integrity-lacking police 

The untrustworthy WA Police have done it again, ignored clear ‘community rules’ and played smart-alecs to abuse data privacy and potentially blow up trust in the system of Covid-19 venue tracing to save lives and prevent pandemic spread. It’s time the government realised WAPOL must be reined in, and that Police-Investigating-Police (PIP) must stop

Police infiltrate iPhone privacy

Once again, for the umpteenth time during the Covid-19 pandemic, police appeal to have gone overboard the moment a new restrictions regime is implemented. They seem to be pre-ordained to use excessive intrusion and invasion of privacy in the first instance, before public complaints eventually force them to take a more reasonable and balanced approach. Why is there always a problem? Is it bad leadership, or bad training…or both?

Reining in the ’national security’ secrecy claims in courts

Not very long ago, a secret prisoner was discovered quite by chance in the ACT jail (even the ACT Prisons/Justice Minister did not know he was there). The prisoner, given the pseudonym ‘Alan Johns’, was a victim of being tried in secret under “national security” legislation. The laws that enable that abuse of his rights, and the rights of all Australians to know what happens in the courts, is now under detailed scrutiny by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Grant Donaldson. Here is CLA’s submission (authored by VP Rajan Venkataraman) to the process, and the separate sub of CLA member Kathryn Kelly also.