Search Results: bill of rights

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  • AUSTRALIA

    ACT makes a dog's breakfast of marriage equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 October 2013
    47 Comments

    Marriage equality advocates are pursuing the issue at a state level in the hope of pressuring the Commonwealth. In the process they risk blowing apart the national coherence of marriage laws put in place in 1961. The marriage equality question is best resolved by the Australian Parliament exercising a conscience vote. Marriage is too precious a social institution to be put in the mix of a dog's breakfast.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bikie laws sicken civil liberties

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 27 October 2013
    18 Comments

    Political commentator Malcolm Farr, a bike enthusiast, noted that many bikies are indeed 'frauds', 'thugs' and 'grubs'. The medicine on offer in Queensland and other states, however, is bound to kill that frail patient known as civil liberties. What is being touted is a police state response, rather than a measured, legal program. And broad brush strokes in legal responses tend to be disastrous.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Coalition and the mandate myth

    • Max Atkinson
    • 10 October 2013
    12 Comments

    Since the election there has been much discussion of the idea that, because democracy means respecting the will of the people, elected members have a duty to support the government's 'mandate'. Accordingly, they need not inform themselves and act on their own judgment because the people have spoken. Edmund Burke, the father of conservative political philosophy, would argue that this betrays, rather than serves, constituents.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholics' radical alternative

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 October 2013
    4 Comments

    'When confronted with moral evil in public policy, church personnel have a choice: to be prophetic sticking to the moral absolutes, or to be practical engaging in the compromises needed to temper the evil. At the moment, the only political parties not wanting to embrace a short term shock and awe approach are the Greens, the DLP and the Palmer United Party. And neither Christine Milne, John Madigan nor Clive Palmer will ever be prime minister.' Workshop paper from Catholic Social Services Victoria's Listening, Learning and Leading conference, October 2013.

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  • EDUCATION

    Equipping students for moral argument

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 September 2013

    Full text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'Law teachers as gatekeepers of law, public morality and human rights: Equipping our students for moral argument in a pluralistic legal environment' at the Australian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border protection silence is deadly

    • Tony Kevin
    • 24 September 2013
    9 Comments

    During the election campaign, both major parties made much of their humanitarian concern to stop drownings by stopping the boats. Scott Morrison offered no words on this during the first Operation Sovereign Borders briefing on Monday. Nor did Labor's official commentators. Deaths at sea have apparently dropped off the radar — at least until the next maritime tragedy, which both parties will no doubt exploit to score points.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pro-choice paradigm lacks compassion on Zoe's Law

    • Zac Alstin
    • 16 September 2013
    66 Comments

    'Zoe's Law' was named in honour of the unborn child killed when her mother was hit by an allegedly drug-affected driver. We have the curious idea that 'pro-choice' is synonymous with compassion, respect, inclusivity and empowerment, yet opponents of Zoe's Law are philosophically unable to support a compassionate response to Zoe's mother, warning instead that 'We cannot accept a foetus being considered as a 'child' in NSW law.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The public, the Church, and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'Like many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term, as a stop-gap measure. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There’s only one thing worse than shock and awe; that’s shock and awe that doesn’t work because you haven’t done your homework.' 43rd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Theological School, 14 August 2013.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Civil liberties in a grave new world

    • Bill Calcutt
    • 08 August 2013
    1 Comment

    Since the turn of the millennium several major technology-enabled developments have significantly altered the balance between national security and civil liberties. In Australia, the hyper-politicisation of national security finds voice in the discourse on the issue of border security, turning a complex humanitarian and policing challenge (asylum seekers arriving by sea) into an enormously controversial and expensive imbroglio.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The man who would be PM (again)

    • Staff
    • 26 June 2013
    14 Comments

    Last year Kevin Rudd sat down with human rights lawyer and Eureka Street columnist Frank Brennan for a candid and in-depth conversation about his faith, his values and his political philosophies. He also took questions from the 500-strong live audience. Relive this fascinating insight into returning Prime Minister Rudd.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Legislating to counter grog fuelled violence

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 June 2013
    7 Comments

    The Northern Territory Parliament will soon debate a proposed treatment scheme for up to 800 problem drinkers a year. It will be a case of unprincipled, unworkable lawmaking unless the NT is more attentive to medical, legal and community opinion within its own jurisdiction and 'from down south'. Just because a proposal is novel doesn't mean it's a good idea.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sex abuse justice cannot be fast-tracked

    • Michael Mullins
    • 12 May 2013
    42 Comments

    Victims of church sexual abuse have suffered a setback with NSW Government moves to impose a ten year statute of limitations. For many victims, it takes much longer than ten years before they are ready to tell their story. If they are forced to speak before they are ready, they may speak half-truths or not speak at all. 

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