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August 2020 CLArion newsletter: Pollies, spooks fail to tell full truth

With another election season upon us, politicians and candidates are trotting out their ‘law n order’ fear-creating campaigns to gain election, not telling us that it costs taxpayers more than $300 a day to house each prisoner, which adds to the taxes we pay. Similarly, the security service heavies – notably ASIO's – are spruiking more fear to boost their control over citizens and ultimately their budgets and staff. In all cases, it’s a ruse played knowingly on citizens to the advantage of would-be control freaks aiming to diminish our civil liberties, rights and freedoms. Other items in this issue:
  • How new legal provisions head us further towards a police state
  • Govt legal action against critics is ‘illegally’ slowed…on purpose?
  • SAS’s proud reputation destroyed, says SAS Commanding Officer
  • Which state leads the way on jailing Indigenous kids?
  • SECURITY SPECIAL: More bids for greater secret powers and control
  • Peter Dutton narrowly avoids jail
  • Bigger courts, smaller juries?
  • NZ: Drumming up the business of freeing prisoners wronfully convicted
  • MP wants review of secret court hearings

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Click for 2-COLUMN (print, read over a break)

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AGs are cowards not to lift age of responsibility    

Australia’s Attorney-General showed cowardice in not lifting the age of criminal responsibillity from 10 10 at least 14, CLA President Dr Kristine Klugman says. A national justice department group has been working on the issue for years: it strongly recommended the common national age goes up, now. It’s time for one or mroe AGs to show the courage of their convictions, not the least because it will help keep Aboriginal kids as young as 10 from dominating juvenile jailings in Australia.

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The law does not always mete justice 

The charade of show trials, held in secret for to create a greater fear effect purportedly to some ’security’ purpose, continue with the prosecutions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery. But it is the Australian government that should be on trial, as CLA’s CEO Bill Rowlings and Timor Leste advocate Sister Susan Connelly point out in these protest rally speeches.

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WA gives away its citizens’ facial images

States around Australia - Tasmania, Victoria, WA – are handing over the images of their citizens collected for a driver’s licence to be used as a national crime database. Some people and groups, including CLA, are very worried how politicians can be so cavalier about people’s personal privacy.
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Museums suffer as politicians drink waters of lethe

Bodies like museums, arts entities, orchestras and the ABC are preparing for another financial savaging in the upcoming budget. Every year, increasingly greater amounts are spent on bigger weapons and more over-the-top security. Each year, spending on the lifeblood of any civilised nation, culture and education, is constricted further to a barely survivable drip, Dr Des Griffin AM says.
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#Defence Lives Matter…call for Senate inquiry

Within Australian serving ranks, there are growing calls for a Senate Inquiry into why so many serving, reserves and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel are committing suicide. Is institutional abuse to blame? asks ADF Veteran's advocate Kay Danes OAM.
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July 2020 CLArion newsletter: Worst of times provide opportunity to change baseline rights for the future

As the Covid-19 pandemic restricts traditional freedoms wholesale, and the police and security community seeks even greater powers of surveillance and data control over our photos and faces, these appear to be dark times for personal liberties. But times of change also bring opportunity, Noq is the chance for all Australians who care about rights and freedoms to speak out loudly and strongly about the most basic of freedoms, like free speech and individual privacy, as well as demanding a new approach to the world of regulations which govern our everyday lives.

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Security firm questions Covid app used in Australia

The security app used in Australia is not the worst, but still has significant flaws, an internet security firm says. They analysed the core protocols behind the major apps and rated them. Here’s what they say about the Australian one.
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High Court of Australia comes a cropper

The High Court of Australia has decided, to its legal satisfaction, that there was a sexual harasser in its midst, former judge Dyson Heydon. But the court was apparently reluctant to act (it took 15 months). And has it learned the real lesson of this sorry affair, that it is judicial hubris at the High Court in general that’s the problem, not just one randy old judge. The High Court should take a long, hard look at itself…and so should the rest of Australia examine the performance, competence and protocols of one of the three arms of national governance.
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Petition asks for driver licence photos back

Several states are handing over their drivers’ photos to national police and security agencies without any federal legal safeguards or privacy protection in place. In the Apply Isle, the Tasmanian Times has reported on a petition begun by CLA’s Tasmanian Director, Richard Griggs.
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Let those locked up/down breathe fresh air

We lock people in quarantine so they won’t infect anyone else. But that doesn’t mean they should lose their right to breathe fresh air. A lockdown pair explain why it’s incongruous that upper floor windows can’t be opened occasionally, or supervised walks can’t be managed n a nearby park. Criminal prisoners get more fresh air than innocent travellers.
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Why lockdown of parliament ‘fortress’ must end

Increasingly, Australia’s Parliament House looks like a fortress or maximum security jail. Bollards and fences are obvious, as are some of the heavily-armed guards. But is the level and type of protection sensible, or dangerous overkill, asks security expert Dr Tony Murney?
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