Search Results: separation of powers

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Terrorist or criminal? Why it matters

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 16 July 2015
    7 Comments

    How we name someone makes a big difference. Criminals are subject to the criminal justice system. They can access legal aid and the prosecution must prove its case. Whereas terrorists can have their citizenship cancelled under the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act if they are a dual national, even without a conviction.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Whistleblowing and other new crimes

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 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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  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 11 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian citizenship as a political plaything

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 May 2015
    4 Comments

    The Federal Government plans to legislate within weeks to strip certain dual nationals of their Australian citizenship. Extending the already existing draconian ministerial power to overturn review tribunal decisions into the area of citizenship is unwarranted. Such an important determination should require the testing of solid evidence, not merely a minister's assessment of the 'national interest'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama misfires on Russian 'threat'

    • Tony Kevin
    • 27 January 2015
    15 Comments

    In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama drew rare bipartisan applause with his anti-Russian rhetoric when he said the US was ‘upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small’. The Cold War ended 25 years ago, yet the desire to weaken Russia has never gone away. This is nonsense. Russia poses no threat to the west. It is just another country trying to make its own way in an unfriendly world.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hun Sen's Cambodia a mirage on the Mekong

    • Tony Kevin
    • 13 November 2014
    1 Comment

    Phnom Penh is a lively, bustling, often happy city of energetic and industrious people, with amazing growth statistics. In 2004 half of Cambodians lived in poverty, and by 2011 the figure had dropped to 20%. But this belies the terrible state of public health, the corruption in education, the abuse of human rights, and much more.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Overplaying the Immigration Minister's trump card

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 October 2014
    7 Comments

    Former Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans once expressed concern about how much personal power was vested in his position when making decisions about particular cases. The current Minister, on the other hand, is trying to increase the number of such powers, and is much more likely to use the ministerial trump card to avoid judicial scrutiny. In a parliamentary system that relies on the checks and balances between the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary, one arm of government should not be able to overrule another.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Where it all went wrong for Islam

    • Tim Mayfield
    • 14 October 2014
    11 Comments

    Actor Ben Affleck was only partly right in his recent take-down of conservative US pundits Bill Maher and Sam Harris for their perceived 'Islamaphobia'. The reality is that there is a battle for the heart and soul of Islam that has been playing out around the globe since the 60s and 70s. It is therefore only natural that an ideology that rejects the failed colonial paradigm of nation-states and instead promotes the grand vision of a resurrected caliphate is compelling to many.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Too much order with too little law 30 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 July 2014
    1 Comment

    'Undoubtedly there are many challenges confronting our elected leaders in dealing with violent crime and with pathological sex offenders. But long-term sustainable solutions must be based on respect for judicial independence and for the role of the legal profession.' Frank Brennan addresses the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties at The Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St, Brisbane 8 July 2014.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Law disorder in Campbell Newman's Queensland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 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

    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

    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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