At the height of pandemic panic in 2020, a top national body tried to tell people which way to turn when exercising around a lake. The advice turned out to be superfluous and useless…but it raised the basic question of how far can governments make you go, and in what direction?
What are the drivers behind the Covid-a9 vaccinations, its priority delivery, the seeking of herd immunity…and whether the vaccine must be made mandatory? In a special cooperative project, CLA and its expert members helped a team of students work through the dilemmas to produce a thought-provoking paper.
Just as chief judge Alan Blow makes a public PR bid for retaining his ’talented’ judges unchanged for a total of 20 years-plus – 6 men and 1 women, it should be noted – one of them (and not the woman) gets caught on camera late at night in the Grand Poobah nightcoub in an “intimate kiss” with a junior employee who reports to him. No wonder CLA and the Tasmanian Women Lawyers are calling for a judicial commission in Tasmania, urgently.
Ordinary citizens are starting to fight back agains the problems of police-investigating police (PIP). Camera phones are becoming instruments of truth when police officers collude to deny, during internal police inquiries, that they used excessive force, or bashed, a person they were arresting. You have a right to film police in public, provided you don’t hinder them. ‘Stop PIP’ is a new CLA campaign, in development.
To Kevin Andrews MHR:
Civil Liberties Australia on Australia Day 2021 asks the man responsible for citizens of the ACT and the NT having lesser rights than all others Australians – they are not able to even vote on dying with dignity/euthansia law – to ‘rescind’ the federal law he promoted by lodging a new Private Member’s Bill to restore the rights of 600,000 fellow Australians. Here’s the Andrews letter.
To WA Police Commissioner (and Police Minister):
On Australia Day 2021, CLA asks for an apology from WAPOL and the State for those people the police falsely and irresponsibly named as ‘persons-of-interest’ before, some 25 years later, Bradley Edwards was convicted and sentenced. We asked particularly for an apology of Peter Weygers and civil liberties: Weygers was then the local president, whose reputation was ruined by the erroneous police accusation. Click here for the letter.
To Ministers for Corrective Services, throughout Australia:
CLA asks, on Australia Day 2021, that you review the rules, sometimes archaic, about what prisoners can receive through the mail and other associated censorship concerns, including their rights to educational material and to private correspondence with the lawyers. For the letter sent to WA click here. And for a CLA/Uni of Qld report on the state of censorship in prisons in Australia, click here.
Australia continues to rack up more and more surveillance laws, as successive governments increasingly restrict freedoms in the name of unprovable ‘cyber threats’, the latest bogeyman of the security community, which must invent new threats continuously to maintain its huge growth rate of the past 20 years. Paul Gregoire reports.
As a reminder that there are lots of diverse viewpoints about the dangers of Covid-19, here’s an excerpt from an email received by Civil Liberties Australia after we made a one-paragraph comment in the Sydney Morning Herald on face mask wearing during a virus pandemic. Civil liberties and human rights are always about the sometimes difficult weighing one person’s freedom with another person’s, or group’s, rights…frequently on the fulcrum of responsibility.
The drip-drip-drip of inexorable increasingly-repressive surveillance laws keep emanating from the black hole of Home Affairs, run by Minister Peter Dutton and his sidekick Mike ‘The Pezz’ Pezzullo. The title of their latest Bill explains what they want to do to the Australian people and society: Identify and Disrupt.
Longtime security shenanigans observer, Jack Waterford, says giving executive power to ASIO was a big mistake, and exposes the hypocrisy of its recent claim to be offended by critical comments in relation to its China briefings, which compromise our diplomatic efforts.