October 2011 Newsletter:
Cyber crime and censorship issues to be
subjected to consultation, focus groups

Cyber issues – crime, computers, the internet and security – are the government’s main preoccupation now, but at least they are consulting, so you can have your say until the middle of November 2011. Elsewhere, the Law Reform people are setting up focus groups to decide how movies, videos, books and computer games should be classified (that is, censored)…but they seem to be pre-empting people’s reactions before they’ve seen the material. Also, learn how $12.4m will be spent on human rights education (and who will spend it), plus the names of people comprising the new ‘InfoGuru’ advisory panel to help Information Commissioner John McMillan.

In Victoria, the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities may be under some threat, just as the feds start to tidy up anti-discrimation laws. On one side of the country, police are coming under formal criticism for not properly investigating complaints against them, and there are calls around the nation for tighter controls on the use of pepper spray and worrying reports of police firearms being drawn just as frequently, even though the incidence of stun gun use is going through the roof. 

  • Penalties, like sentencing issues, are a national mess;
  • Happy holidays…to the Attorney-General and his department;
  • TGA facilitates prescribing of Nembutal for people near death;
  • Government tests boundary of ‘presumed innocent’;
  • Shopkeepers won’t become school-wagger police;
  • Lawyers generate $13 billion a year;
  • CLA to speak at Parliament House Indigenous rights symposium;
  • Official blindness to drugs compounds problem;
  • Dutch ban burka, as firefighters save French Muslim prayers; and
  • Senators claim US justice officials rely on secret rulings.

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