Author: Justin Glyn

  • INTERNATIONAL

    On blaming Muslims for Paris

    • Justin Glyn
    • 19 November 2015
    12 Comments

    It is possible to find 'texts of terror' in Jewish, Christian and Muslim Scriptures. They need to be responsibly understood and explored with a close understanding of their context. We did not demand all Catholics stand up and denounce every IRA attack, nor that all Christians apologise for Anders Breivik. Similarly, why should we expect all members of a religion with over a billion adherents with multiple ancient variants to actively disown every horror claimed to have been committed in its name?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Muslim children showed respect by not singing anthem

    • Justin Glyn
    • 30 October 2015
    11 Comments

    Muharram is above all a month of mourning for Shi'a. One of the ways in which the month may be mourned is by avoiding joyful music. For the pupils of Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School, singing of the national anthem was therefore recognised as a potential problem, not because of any disrespect but for precisely the opposite reason. It was respected as a song of hope and gladness, a delight in a common national identity. It was on these very grounds that the children did not want to sing it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australians dogged by Pavlovian politics

    • Justin Glyn
    • 21 October 2015
    11 Comments

    While running a Royal Commission into domestic violence and a $30 million campaign against it, ringing the bell marked 'asylum seekers are queue jumpers' has allowed successive governments to abuse alleged rape victims with barely a word of protest from the public. Insofar as any feelings of empathy for asylum seekers exist, we tell ourselves brutality is inflicted 'to stop deaths at sea'. So successful has this Pavlovian policy been that Australian refugee policy is now the toast of German neo-Nazis.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Melbourne medicos bring detained children into the light

    • Justin Glyn
    • 13 October 2015
    9 Comments

    Health care professionals at the Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital have begun to do what could not be achieved by reports from the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Australia's Human Rights Commission. The doctors and staff are refusing to release children they treat back to the detention which caused their problems in the first place. By this brave act has begun the slow task of pouring daylight (always the best antiseptic) into this gaping wound in Australian society.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pitfalls of Putin troops in Syria

    • Justin Glyn
    • 06 October 2015
    6 Comments

    The Syrian government are no angels, and any more bombing raids on an already heavily bombed and traumatised population is unlikely to improve the situation for civilians. However, the American claim that the Russians have a poor record in this respect smacks of hypocrisy, given the US's admitted destruction last week of a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Afghanistan at the cost of 22 lives. Moscow's policy at least has the merits of legality, intelligibility and consistency.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Be wary of politicians who speak about moral obligation

    • Justin Glyn
    • 28 August 2015
    18 Comments

    One would think after the disastrous interventions in Iraq and Libya that Australians would have learned to be just a little bit suspicious when the US Government suggests another Middle East war, or when a politician urges — as Bob Carr and Tony Blair have — that we have a 'moral obligation' to join the legally dubious US bombing mission in Syria.

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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

    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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  • 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Could Immigration 'secrecy' act trump mandatory reporting of abuse?

    • Justin Glyn
    • 09 June 2015
    6 Comments

    All Australian states and territories have mandatory reporting legislation requiring compulsory disclosure of suspected child abuse by relevant professionals. The Australian Border Force Act requires the permission of the Secretary before any disclosure of criminal conduct is made to the relevant authorities. Should an Immigration professional who works with children fulfil their mandatory reporting obligations if this permission is not granted (and face two years in prison) or not?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia wants to know nothing about asylum seekers' torture history

    • Justin Glyn
    • 03 June 2015
    16 Comments

    International law regards torture as a matter of ius cogens, something which can never be justified. If one were serious about finding out about genuine refugee claims, enquiring about any torture at the hands of the people an asylum seeker is fleeing would surely be near the top of the list of cogent questions. But Australia has ceased to ask asylum seekers about any history of torture.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The operational matter of sending Australians to their execution

    • Justin Glyn
    • 06 May 2015
    17 Comments

    While the AFP are clearly right to argue that they need to cooperate with Indonesia – it is, after all, Australia's biggest neighbour – the police's understanding of their role seems absolutely extraordinary in the light of the Extradition Treaty. The implication is that, although Australia is absolutely forbidden from extraditing a person to Indonesia to face the firing squad, the police are entitled - as an 'operational decision' and, if the police are to be believed, with no reference even to Cabinet guidelines - to hand someone over to be executed.

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