Author: Frank Brennan

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Wily Harradine delivered for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 April 2014
    16 Comments

    The great Tasmanian Catholic warrior Brian Harradine did wonderful work in the Senate, the chamber Paul Keating described as 'unrepresentative swill'. He successfully negotiated significant improvements to the lamentable Howard Aboriginal land rights package. Seven years after the Wik debate, Democrats deputy leader Andrew Bartlett said: 'The agreement he reached on the Wik legislation was one of the few cases I would point to where John Howard was bested in negotiations'.

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  • MEDIA

    Racial hatred laws 20 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    5 Comments

    In 1994, a year before the Parliament enacted the present section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, I wrote in Eureka Street: 'At this time, in this part of the world, thought-police armed with criminal sanctions are not the answer' to racial discrimination. Senator Brandis has now circulated a proposal to amend the existing provisions. What he has produced is the racial hatred law you have when you don't want a racial hatred law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    1 Comment

    'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is our morality at sea with the refugees?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    8 Comments

    'We should abandon talk of taking Australia off the table. We should also abandon talk of taking the sugar off the table. The collateral damage of that is too great. The best we can do ethically and practically is to put the sugar out of reach while leaving it on the table for those who make it here with a visa or in direct flight from persecution.' Frank Brennan contributes to a Palm Sunday panel at St Michael's Uniting Church, Melbourne.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cardinal Pell at the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 March 2014
    82 Comments

    As an institution, the Catholic Church has been dragged kicking and screaming. Cardinal Pell has been put through the wringer, though admittedly nowhere near to the same extent as was John Ellis when the Church decided to unleash the legal attack dogs on him in litigation which was euphemistically described as vigorous and strenuous.

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  • RELIGION

    Discussing a good death with Philip Nitschke

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 February 2014
    25 Comments

    I was able to mix with other writers bemoaning Australia's refugee policy including the obfuscation about the death of an asylum seeker on Manus Island and Julie Bishop's latest diplomatic initiative asking Hun Sen to accept refugees from Australia for permanent resettlement in Cambodia. I came away wondering how passionate refugee advocates could be so sanguine about doctor administered death even for children.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Too little law in Newman's Queensland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 February 2014
    5 Comments

    'Three decades on, Queensland once again has a premier who finds some political advantage in skewing the balance between law and order, impugning the integrity and vocation of the legal profession. He has described defence lawyers as hired guns.' Professor Frank Brennan SJ addresses the Queensland Law Society Dinner, 30 years on from his book Too Much Order with Too Little Law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Advancing human rights in the market

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 February 2014
    1 Comment

    'The market for disability services will need to be underpinned with a strong and robust internal risk management framework. There will be an increasing number of for-profit operators in the sector. Hopefully the not-for-profit operators will make the necessary adaptations competing in the market and providing the ethos for the market to deliver services in a dignified, fair and transparent manner.' Frank Brennan's Leading the Way Seminar for the National Disability Service

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: It's time to recognise secular same sex marriage

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 January 2014
    59 Comments

    The US Supreme Court and our newly installed Prime Minister have put their weight behind legal recognition of same sex marriage. In California alone there are already 40,000 children who are being brought up by same sex couples. In this debate we need to be mindful of the wellbeing and dignity of these children as well as the unknown number in future who will be created in a test tube.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High Court leaves same sex marriage door ajar

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 December 2013
    30 Comments

    Until now, there was some doubt whether the Parliament's constitutional power to make laws with respect to marriage would be broad enough to include laws with respect to same sex marriage. The High Court has put this matter beyond doubt with all six sitting judges affirming that 'marriage' for the purposes of defining the constitutional power of the Parliament could not be confined to marriage in the traditional Christian sense.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's vision for a bruised and dirty Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 December 2013
    2 Comments

    How refreshing to have a pope write: 'It is not advisable for the pope to take the place of local bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound 'decentralisation'.' Vatican monsignori in long flowing robes will be troubled to hear him say, 'mere administration can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be permanently in a state of mission.'

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  • RELIGION

    No copping out of abuse blame

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 November 2013
    32 Comments

    The Catholic Church hierarchy now seems more prepared to admit institutional and personal failures prior to 1996. They are yet to admit the pervasive, closed clericalist culture which infected the Church until at least 1996, but that will come. Let's hope that the Victorian police can also now move forward admitting past mistakes without manufacturing excuses which do not withstand the contemporary spotlight.

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