Jan 09 Newsletter – Sedition to go, at last

The Rudd Government has promised to get rid of Australia’s anachronistic sedition laws…again. In December, Attorney-General Robert McClelland flagged he would issue a ‘consultation paper’ by 30 June, and that legislation in parliament would follow.

In another move, harder to fathom, the government has rewarded the man who was supposed to coordinate the Dr Haneef investigation by making him Spook Supremo. Duncan Lewis will be titled National Security Adviser, and have an extraordinary centralising role. Let’s hope the Haneef fiasco is not a blueprint for the future.

At long last, the government has announced its national consultation on the status of liberties and rights in Australia. Unfortunately, there’s no clearly-defined aim of the consultation, and the danger is it will peter out into nothingness. CLA proposes a way forward.

The campaign against web censorship continues: read more on the CensorFree website.

Other issues featuring in this month’s CLArion include:

  • SA Govt is moving to control society, group by group;
  • Immigration: speedier processing…but new jail opened;
  • Bell appointed to High Court, replacing Kirby;
  • Secret police files leaked to criminals in Victoria;
  • Phone tapping widens in Australia as Qld powers boosted;
  • NSW doubles ‘tax’…on prisoners;
  • Calls for judicial review of WA’s CCC widen;
  • Pan Pharmaceuticals sues government for $120m;
  • How much is a life worth? UK has an answer;
  • Major Amnesty report slams stun gun ‘non-lethal’ claims;
  • DNA databases – expanding in USA, curtailed in UK;
  • Munir case: alleged mastermind walks free from court; and
  • Journalists’ scorecard: fewer die in 08, but censorship is up.
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