Thursday, 13 November 2008

Failures show need for bill of rights - Kirby

High Court Judge Michael Kirby says government failures on law reforms justify enacting a charter of rights.

Justice Kirby says decision making power began moving from Parliaments to party leaders and executive government.

He says some reforms are not sexy enough to get Ministerial attention and are neglected.

" The defects in institutional parliamentary proceedings ... are a further reason to consider in Australia a charter of rights," he said,

Justice Kirby says it could be useful for Judges to have a role in prodding Parliaments when breaches of fundamental human rights outlined in a charter are allowed within the law.


Judge attacks disparity in laws
Australia has a long way to go in protecting the rights of women, Aborigines, migrants and homosexuals, High Court judge Michael Kirby said yesterday.

Suspended sentence in winery terrorist plot
A Victorian grape grower who planned to blow up a rival winery in the state's north-east has been given a suspended sentence.

Some Risdon inmates in solitary confinement for years: reports
Risdon's solitary confinement unit is under investigation. The Tasmanian Ombudsman has begun an investigation into the unit after hearing inmates have not had access to enough sunlight or fresh air.

Black Australia's doing fine, says G-G
The Aboriginal leader Pat Dodson said the head of state's remarks were superficial and suggested that all that was needed was to "force these [remote] people out of their communal ways …

Women's battle for equal pay continues
ALMOST 40 years after it became unlawful to pay women less than men for equal work of equal value, women are still earning on average $196 a week less than men.

Push for federal charter of human rights
High Court Judge Justice Michael Kirby has again called for Australia to adopt a charter of human rights.

QLD judge-only trials 'not the answer'
Civil libertarian Terry O'Gorman says judge-only trials are not the answer. Laws to go to Parliament next week will allow the prosecution or the defence to apply for a trial to be heard by a judge-only in some complex or notorious cases.

Planned phone-tapping laws in Qld
Council for Civil Liberties..These new laws involve a considerable intrusion into the privacy of people's lives. Queensland Council for Civil Liberties says the public has a lot be concerned about.

Watered down same-sex laws pass in ACT
Laws granting same-sex couples legal recognition passed the ACT Legislative Assembly Thursday night, but the territory government is still furious it was forced to water down its legislation.

Australia: Concerns of a police state
Cameron Murphy...a massive reduction in police accountability to the community. NSW police now have special emergency powers to bug or track people for up to four days without a warrant. Under the biggest shake-up to the state's surveillance laws, police will have up to four days to monitor people before needing to apply retrospectively for an emergency warrant from a Supreme Court judge. NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said the new police powers flowed from an inter-governmental Australian terrorism summit in 2002.

Australia to sign up to anti-torture treaty
Australian complicity in War Crimes in the Middle East, Torture, Rendition. In Australia Draconian Laws, Indefinite Solitary Confinement of prisoners at places like the HRMU at Goulburn Correctional Centre.

UN Torture Committee Blasts Australia
In its report on Australia, the Torture Committee was critical of Australia's prisons, counter-terrorism laws, mandatory immigration detention and of the way Australian officials have ignored torture and mistreatment overseas in places like Abu Ghraib.


“Patients under state control have had their social interaction reduced, and right to smoke removed. These vulnerable and isolated citizens, to whom the state owes a special obligation, are extremely distressed and have asked for community assistance,” said JA spokesperson Michael Poynder.

Faheem Lodhi - another non-terrorist jailed under Australia's 'anti-terror' laws? Jack Thomas, a non-terrorist, has been jailed under Australia's anti-terror laws. Now Faheem Lodhi has been convicted under the terror laws on flimsy, circumstantial evidence. It is likely he is another non-terrorist jailed for political purposes under the terror laws.

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