July 2010 Newsletter:
New PM means rights
may make a comeback

The takeover by Julie Gillard as Prime Minister of Australia in June may mean there are opportunities to re-visit some issues thought dead under former PM Kevin Rudd’s agenda. Among these is a bill of rights nationally. Such a bill has new momentum because Tasmania’s Attorney-General and Deputy Premier, Lara Giddings, recently committed that state to seriously considering both a charter of rights and euthanasia legislation in the coming 12 months.

With a federal election looming, CLA puts major issues on the agenda for public debate, ranging from Indigenous equity to a national inquiry into censorship and examining how to improve the operation of parliament itself. There’s news of more spying on Australians, plus further attempts to centralise control of citizens. Around the states and territories, civil liberties continue to take a battering from the “tough on crime’ lobby, powerful police interests and unthinking politicians. Internationally, our lack of attention to Pacific Island nations is emerging as a problem.

Topics covered in July include:

  • Tasmania to move on bill of rights, euthanasia;
  • Ex-Army chief backs need for parliamentary debate on war;
  • ‘Control freak’ government targets the poor over their spending ;
  • Proposed Rights Committee is a whiter shade of pale;
  • Parliament should scrutinise AFP over counter-terrorism;
  • Police drug tests get increasingly less accurate;
  • Police violence in PNG is alarming, expert says;
  • Indonesian kids at risk – rights ignored;
  • US claims Obama owns and can ‘kill’ the internet; and
  • Advocates target Africa’s laws which fail women.

 

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