January 2012 Newsletter:
AG admits Australia’s counter-terrorism
priorities have been unclear for a decade

Australia’s Attorney-General admitted last month that the nation operated to no clear set of counter-terrorism priorities over the past 10 years: in other words, tens of billions of dollars have apparently been wasted in scattergun spending on thousands more people, massive materiel purchases and untried new systems. How wasteful is that? On a more positive note, we report on planting of Australia’s National Liberty Tree, and congratulate the Prime Minister for adopting CLA’s counsel made eight months ago on ministerial appointmment.

There’s a report of a major High Court decision turning "accepted" spousal precedent on its head, questions about why the Australian Tax Office spends unacceptable millions on legal services, and a proposal for corporations, including those government-owned, to be made responsible for maladministration or negligence causing death. From overseas comes worrying stories of patient health records being plastered all over the internet…just as Australia is about to adopt similar systems without proper safeguards, reporting and responsibility. However, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants the internet kept wide open, which may cause conflict with Senator Stephen Conroy’s local control-freak plans.

Other items in this issue include: 

  • NAPpy release: the human rights plan without a Bill of Rights;
  • McClelland term as Attorney-General a lost opportunity;
  • Info supremo warns public servants to not abuse FOI legal ploys;
  • Police car chases: more deaths, more lies, more questions;
  • Sniffer dogs wrong in four out of five cases, MP says;
  • Supercop crime body acting illegally, govt inquiry finds;
  • UK plans major extension of health service patients’ rights;
  • Hover bovver: drones coming to a skyhook near you;
  • Australian Federal Police pay for Chinese police officers’ studies; and
  • Business human rights performance coming under scrutiny.

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