Jan 2011 – Newsletter:
Gillard chooses faulty COAG 
structure to boost standing

The Council of Australian Governments – COAG – is again being called on to try to boost the standing of a Prime Minister. This un-Constitutional body, and its 40-plus offshoots, are emasculating parliaments and strain-filtering democracy throughout Australia. Meanwhile, lawyerly credibility for PM Gillard and A-G McLelland has taken a big hit over WikiLeaks and Julian Assange – will the outcome be a new Attorney-General? 

These personality issues are playing out federally just as major matters come up for national debate: the classifications (censorship) scheme, a review of our electoral system, plus what code should Information Service Providers (ISPs) operate under? Around the nation, the battle for liberties and rights goes on, tough as ever. As NSW gears for an election, the police association makes an ambit claim, just as the soon-to-retire Director of Public Prosecutions puts down a marker for sensible laws.

Other topics covered in January include:

  • AG and Police sit on funding bonanza;
  • Human Rights ‘Action’ Plan – great name, but no Bill;
  • SA to get new law reform body;
  • Nation’s first Human Rights Act may be expanded;
  • NSW Bar ask for cut to Indigenous sentences;
  • Happy snaps: police are people too;
  • Magistrate castigates police for ‘outrage against liberty’;
  • CLA Director name Young Lawyer of the Year;
  • New global torture reporter appointed;
  • Task force wants privary ‘bill of rights’; and
  • Charges against former US V-P dropped after payment.

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