Search Results: constitution

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Indonesia shows its ugly side with regressive executions

    • Pat Walsh
    • 28 April 2015
    16 Comments

    Indonesia is a country of great promise with a significant, maybe crucial, contribution to make to our troubled world. As a very large, pluralist, Muslim-majority democracy it offers a template for other societies in transition. President SBY was acutely aware of this opportunity and through his democracy forums and other initiatives did much to re-brand Indonesia in this positive light. All this good work is being undone by the anal, small-town thinking the executions represent.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Excising the Rule of Law

    • Justin Glyn
    • 20 April 2015
    15 Comments

    When the term 'Rule of Law' was coined in the 19th century, it included a reasonable conduct stipulation to ensure fairness. A bill currently working its way through Federal Parliament would give those working in detention centres a low threshold in the use of force against detainees. The criterion of reasonableness of the officer’s conduct would be replaced by what an officer believes is reasonable.  

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  • The death penalty is always political

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 March 2015
    10 Comments

    Some of the Australian commentary on the Indonesian justice system has been understandably very critical.  But living here in the USA for a year, I have come to realise that the death penalty infects every justice system no matter how good and robust it is.  In the end, the death penalty is always political.  That’s why I am very grateful to Pope John Paul II who changed his position.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    • Fatima Measham
    • 24 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Mandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Through the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political roadblock stalls remote kidney disease treatment

    • Brian Stacey
    • 17 March 2015
    6 Comments

    In 2011 the Commonwealth set aside $10 million for the NT Government to provide for dialysis patients from remote communities in Central Australia. But the funds remain in the Commonwealth’s bank account, while the need is acute. Community organisations and others including Vinnies and Caritas are helping, but it’s shameful that the needs of one of Australia’s most vulnerable groups are still unmet long after funding has been allocated.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good race relations is not just an American thing, it's democracy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the voting right marches across the bridge in Selma, Alabama. The movie Selma is a great though imperfect study in race relations, which is still a hot issue in the US following the spate of police killings of young African American men. Good race relations still has a long way to go, as it does in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nice guy Jokowi a death penalty strong man

    • Pat Walsh
    • 03 February 2015
    17 Comments

    The execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is expected to take place on Nusakembangan, a prison island off Central Java. Visitors there are greeted by a sign which translates: 'They are not criminals, just lost people, and it is never too late to repent'. To be executed after you repent, however, is certainly too late. It also diminishes Indonesia. But let’s not write Indonesia off.     

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  • RELIGION

    Which bishop is challenging the bank on fossil fuels?

    • Jill Sutton
    • 11 November 2014
    3 Comments

    There has been an avalanche of divestment, including from the Rockefellers and the ANU, as they discern a lack of concern for environmental, social and governance issues. Shareholders attending Wednesday’s Commonwealth Bank AGM will hear a resolution requesting more transparency about the bank’s fossil fuel investments. But the bank’s response can seem like a game whose rules only become clear to its participants as they play it. Banks and other powerful organisations can still exploit any lack of clarity. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Do we have a right to assisted suicide?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 November 2014
    38 Comments

    Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are back, in the courts of Canada and the UK, and in the parliaments of the UK and Australia. The Australian Senate is considering the Greens' formulation of a broad and fuzzy law that goes further than UK proposals in that it would allow Dr Philip Nitschke to administer a fatal injection.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Australian Christian Lobby will not go away

    • John Warhurst
    • 03 November 2014
    13 Comments

    The ACL's recent national conference was held in Canberra and featured Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as keynote speaker. Appearances at the lobby's conferences have become something of a political rite of passage in recent years. Despite serious academic criticism from Professor Rodney Smith of the University of Sydney questioning its claims to political influence, it is now established in the top echelon of lobbying groups.

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  • RELIGION

    Constitutionally Australia is a religious country

    • Kevin Donnelly
    • 02 November 2014
    28 Comments

    Unlike France, Australia's Constitution specifically accepts the place of religion in the broader society, with its reference to Almighty God in the Preamble. Its only stipulation is that governments should not privilege one religion over another, or unfairly discriminate. Moreover, our legal system and institutions might be secular in nature, but they draw heavily on Christian ethics and morality.

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