Coronavirus Pandemic: Statements by CLA

For all the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, then in the longer-term recovery to normal phase, civil liberties and human rights must be integrated into every decision of all authorities. While a health and emergency policing response is vital, so too is ensuring that the maximum freedoms of Australians are respected at all times. Premiers and others are in danger of forgetting peoples’ rights matter too!

The law does not always mete justice 

The charade of show trials, held in secret for to create a greater fear effect purportedly to some ’security’ purpose, continue with the prosecutions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery. But it is the Australian government that should be on trial, as CLA’s CEO Bill Rowlings and Timor Leste advocate Sister Susan Connelly point out in these protest rally speeches.

Museums suffer as politicians drink waters of lethe

Bodies like museums, arts entities, orchestras and the ABC are preparing for another financial savaging in the upcoming budget. Every year, increasingly greater amounts are spent on bigger weapons and more over-the-top security. Each year, spending on the lifeblood of any civilised nation, culture and education, is constricted further to a barely survivable drip, Dr Des Griffin AM says.

High Court of Australia comes a cropper

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.

How Parliament’s fences lock people in to danger

Camouflage green fences exude precisely the wrong symbolism for a parliament building purpose-designed to be an accessible People’s House. From one angle, the most prestigious building in the National Capital looks like a jail, with slum attached. Are we keeping the prime inmates protected, or locked away behind our own ‘Berlin Wall’? Gates and upward-rising bollards – which have hoisted Commonwealth cars skywards – are further barriers to openness, security expert Dr Tony Murney says.

Militarised guards create potential firezone with children as collateral damage

Assault-style weapons proliferate throughout the external parliamentary precinct: armed guards patrol the ricochet-rich foyer. Into this potential bullet-riddled firezone Australia’s politicians invite subsidised schoolchildren in their hundreds every day the Parliament sits. With schools and embassies (including that of China) in nearby over-shoot range, even an accidental discharge could create personal tragedy or international incident.