CLA has succeeded in getting nine words inserted into the new, draconian Serious and Organised Crime Bill so that judges have discretion to overturn cases where it would obviously not be in the public interest to prosecute. As well this month, there’s further ‘law and order’ excesses of governments throughout Australia, while the trend by governments to use ad-hoc groupings to avoid public consultation and parliamentary votes, in Australia and internationally, continues to expand.
The Australian Government continues to actively create new security structures and bodies, even as the Ombudsman calls for cutting red tape. We highlight how CoAG, SCAG and Ministerial Councils are usurping the role and right of parliaments to debate and vote on important national and international initiatives. And there are warnings aplenty in developments within Australia and overseas on how our privacy continues to be whittled away, with the health area looking like a major battleground in 2010.
Other issues covered include:
- Victorian coroner’s new powers are on right track;
- Suspended sentences can produce better outcomes;
- Major changes planned to rein in Queensland excesses;
- Drugs – in jail and out – likely to cause greater debate;
- Another national database set up…without public approval;
- Police chief criticises ‘more cops on street’ campaigns;
- Ex-Swiss banker may receive $billions for blowing whistle;
- Heterosexuals suing for equal civil union rights;
- Even Texas starting to question value of executing people;
- US law on DNA should be debated and legislated in Australia