keywords: Civil Liberties

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bikie laws sicken civil liberties

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Civil liberties in a grave new world

    • Bill Calcutt
    • 09 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

    Government chipping away at our liberties

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 29 May 2015
    13 Comments

    There have been no violent usurpations. No coup. No acts of massive violence. But data retention laws have been passed. National security legislation protecting ASIO from all operations short of murder while punishing the disclosure of material on secret intelligence operations has been enacted. The stripping of citizenship of dual nationals is on the books. And more.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bringing civility back to the parliamentary cockfight

    • Tony Kevin
    • 31 October 2011
    14 Comments

    Many Australian politicians who should know better give the people and the media exactly what they want: rancorous confrontations and barbed insults. The 'tough' way in which Australian politics is played corrodes civility and potentially erodes our democracy.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australian unis failing Hong Kong students

    • Sangeetha Thanapal
    • 14 September 2019
    5 Comments

    The students might not have many rights back home, but they do in the western democracies in which they live. The violence against peaceful protestors not just in Hong Kong but in countries where Hong Kong students are exercising their basic rights is unsettling. Yet the response by unis all over Australia has been taciturn at best.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    'Climate emergency' endangers democracy

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 21 June 2019
    7 Comments

    Historically, a declaration of emergency, whether in response to war, civil unrest or natural disaster, allows the state to suppress debate to enable a militarised response to an urgent problem. You can see why that might appeal as a solution to the environmental crisis. But addressing climate change requires more democracy, not less.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hawkie, for whom I'd have faced cannon fire

    • Moira Rayner
    • 19 May 2019
    2 Comments

    I told one of my fiercely right-wing Kiwi uncles that if Bob Hawke were elected leader of the ALP I'd follow him through cannon-fire, and surprisingly won his (grudging) respect. For he was a man's man, and so was my then hero.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A new narrative after Christchurch & Colombo

    • Justin Glyn
    • 26 April 2019
    10 Comments

    No security measures will ever be able to suppress inclinations to hatred or violence which grow in the depths of the human heart. And yet there is a difference between Colombo and Christchurch which might be worth exploring. Paradoxically, the most useful things that governments can do are those which are least often tried.

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  • MEDIA

    Press wake in fright to Assange prosecution

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 November 2018
    6 Comments

    With the evidence of a cobbled prosecution case against Julian Assange irrefutable, the at times previously mute press has become concerned. To get at Assange, goes this fear, is not to punish a narcissist keen to make etches in history; it is, by its very spirit, to attack the entire vocation, cause, and role of journalism proper.

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  • MEDIA

    Free expression is a workplace issue too

    • Osmond Chiu
    • 13 August 2018
    5 Comments

    Whether Carr or Greer participates at Brisbane Writers Festival has no real impact on their ability to speak out and be heard. The real threat to freedom of expression for most people comes not from programming decisions at literary festivals but rather to the public through their employers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't fall for My Health Record data binge

    • Kate Galloway
    • 31 July 2018
    10 Comments

    Australians have been caught up in yet another data project whose design confounds even the most basic notions of privacy. My Health Record is the latest example of a system that lures us with proclaimed benefits and convenience, but enhances government power without balancing responsibilities to ensure citizens' civil liberties.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Commission's Catholic wrap-up

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 January 2018
    13 Comments

    The statistics were horrifying. Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution. Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. We need to hold the victims clearly in focus.

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