Search Results: High Court

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The ins and outs of a regional solution for refugees

    • Samuel Tyrer
    • 06 August 2015
    21 Comments

    The Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers of 2012 said 'a regional cooperation and protection framework' should shape policymaking. Support for a regional solution also exists among academics and NGOs such as the Refugee Council of Australia. So what would such a framework look like? And when the time comes, will Australia be prepared to lead the way by increasing resettlement numbers?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political donations reform is not so easy

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 29 July 2015
    5 Comments

    Political donations give privileged access to powerful public officials to those who are wealthy. But public funding does little to reduce parties’ reliance on private money and radical control measures can fall foul of the Constitution. A 2013 High Court judgment finding that a ban on donations infringed the constitutional freedom of political communication.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The problematic 'saving lives at sea' argument

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 July 2015
    35 Comments

    When refugee advocates criticise harsh policies such as boat turnbacks, they are confronted with claims that the measures are necessary for saving lives at sea. This justification has dominated the debate to the extent that any policy which further restricts refugee rights becomes justifiable on this ground. Imagine a proposal to ban cars because there were too many people killed and injured on the roads.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The depths of common cause between Australia and Nauru

    • Justin Glyn
    • 14 July 2015
    3 Comments

    In an impressive demonstration of how the revocation of citizenship can be made to work to defend the national reputation and lifestyle of a country against those who would wish it harm, five of the country's seven opposition MPs (in a 19 member Parliament) have had their passports cancelled for 'damaging the reputation and development of the country'. In Australia, at least for the moment, damaging of Government property will still be required for the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection to revoke citizenship under the new anti-terror provisions in s.35A of the Citizenship Act.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The limits to private ownership of property

    • Samuel Tyrer
    • 08 July 2015
    9 Comments

    Private property rights are one of the few rights expressly protected under the Australian Constitution, but broader societal interests must be taken into consideration. Compulsory acquisition of land for the greater public good has always been a fact of life for property owners. France is currently enacting laws to force supermarkets to give their unsold consumable food 'property' to charities. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The US Supreme Court's gay marriage overreach

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 July 2015
    75 Comments

    In its determination that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the US Supreme Court took it upon itself to discover a definitive answer in the silent Constitution on this contested social question. This is regrettable, because there can be no doubt that the democratic process was taking US society in only one direction, and the Court's unilateral intervention has reduced the prospects of community acceptance and community compromise regarding the freedom of religious practice of those who cannot embrace same-sex marriage for religious reasons.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Constitutional change that will improve indigenous quality of life

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 July 2015
    6 Comments

    Those Aborigines who are most at home in modern Australia tend to be those with a secure foothold in both the Dreaming and the Market. Those who are most alienated and despairing are those with a foothold in neither. Constitutional change alone won't make things better. But a good Constitution is a better complement to other measures – such as a statutory charter – than a bad one.

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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 01 July 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Retrospectivity a blow to the rule of law

    • Justin Glyn
    • 29 June 2015
    8 Comments

    Steve Ciobo MP described Zaky Mallah’s terrorism acquittal as based on a 'technicality'. This was that the anti-terror laws enacted after his acquittal were 'not retrospective'. The truly frightening thing about retrospective laws is that they make conduct which is perfectly legal when it is done, criminal by fiat. Anyone can be convicted of anything retrospectively, and this is why it is forbidden in the constitutions of many countries.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Whistleblowing and other new crimes

    • Fatima Measham
    • 26 June 2015
    7 Comments

    Ministerial discretion over citizenship can't replace court processes. Such executive overreach, which contradicts democratic principle, has already found expression in law. From July 1st, workers involved in immigration detention, including doctors and teachers, are subject to two years imprisonment for speaking publicly about what they witness. In other words, whistleblowing has been penalised.

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  • Ambassador of conscience

    • Sean McManus
    • 25 June 2015
    4 Comments

    As much as any other religious figure in Australia, Frank Brennan has maintained a religious perspective while engaging in issues of ethics and justice in contemporary Australia. His book Amplifying that Still Small Voice emphasises the importance of the 'religious sense that the human person is created in the image and likeness of God', while speaking in the language and terms that are understandable to the public square.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    An Orwellian reading of our anti-terror legislation

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 June 2015
    13 Comments

    In George Orwell's most famous novel 1984, the white face of the Ministry of Truth bears the slogans: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Australia is not approaching dictatorship, but a quick look at Orwell's slogans in the light of the past week's news makes disturbing reading.

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