Author: Frank Brennan

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Law disorder in Campbell Newman's Queensland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 June 2014
    11 Comments

    All is not well in the Sunshine State, where Premier Newman is running a strong 'law and order' line. Judges are used to politicians running 'law and order' lines, but enjoy independence from the executive government once appointed. The risky part is the sequence of events associated with the appointment. The naming of Tim Carmody as the state's chief justice has made a mockery of the transparency and openness of this process.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's time Parliament had a say on 'disgraceful' PNG solution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 June 2014
    29 Comments

    Australia's cruel arrangement for asylum seekers arriving without a visa cannot be scrutinised by our courts and has never been approved by our Parliament. In the name of democracy, in the name of Australian self-respect, and in the name of human rights protection and the rule of law, it is time this arrangement was presented to our Parliament for its approval by our elected representatives or for immediate ditching. It's a disgrace.

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  • RELIGION

    Unheard stories of the sex abuse crisis

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 June 2014
    11 Comments

    In Unheard Story, Fr Padraig McCarthy rightly highlights shortcomings in legal-political-media processes like the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation. The future wellbeing of children demands that the spotlight be shone on all equally. But there is no getting away from the fact that in Ireland and Australia, the reported instances of child sexual abuse has been greater in the Catholic Church than in other churches.

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  • RELIGION

    The role of the faith based organisation

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 May 2014
    3 Comments

    'Some of us would question Benedict's assertion that the Church "must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot ... replace the State." But we would all agree that the Church "cannot and must not remain on the sidelines".' Frank Brennan's presentation at the Jesuit Social Services Symposium on 'The role of faith based community organisations in contributing to a civil society'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Let's be good neighbours with Timor

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 May 2014
    10 Comments

    In 2006 Australia and Timor Leste hastily signed the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) at a time of considerable political instability in Timor. After last year's revelation of evidence of Australian spying on the Timorese during the negotiation of CMATS, the Timorese decided to challenge its validity, and in March this year they had a spectacular win in the International Court of Justice that caused great embarrassment to Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    In defence of Cardinal Pell

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 April 2014
    30 Comments

    I write to defend Cardinal Pell in the wake of Elizabeth Farrelly's claim in the Fairfax press that Pell, when appearing before Justice McClellan at the Royal Commission, proposed a 'priestly child abuse insurance scheme'. Pell is not one of my fans, and neither am I one of his. But I think Farrelly has unfairly kicked him when he is down, and muddied the waters about what is a critical issue for the victims of child sexual abuse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Wily Harradine delivered for Indigenous Australians

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 April 2014
    18 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
    • 11 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
    • 11 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
    • 11 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
    • 28 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
    • 24 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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