keywords: Civil Liberties

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australian unis failing Hong Kong students

    • Sangeetha Thanapal
    • 14 September 2019

    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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  • AUSTRALIA

    The empty platitudes of Australian human rights

    • Kate Galloway
    • 25 October 2017
    5 Comments

    Within the one week, the UN announced Australia would be joining the Human Rights Council, and the UN Human Rights Committee criticised Australia for 'chronic non-compliance'. The dissonance of these two stories calls into question Australia's commitment to human rights, even as it proclaims its global human rights leadership.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Rights are a luxury in the age of national security

    • Justin Glyn
    • 06 October 2017
    7 Comments

    In this time of austerity I am pleased and proud that Our Glorious Leader has decided to curtail the luxuries which we had formerly enjoyed ... for our own good, of course. I refer, of course, to our rapidly diminishing pool of civil liberties.

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  • RELIGION

    Citizenship and the Common Good

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 August 2017
    6 Comments

    'There was one controversy in which Lionel Bowen was involved that does provide good lessons for the contemporary Catholic considering the desirable law or social policy on a contested issue - lessons for the citizen weighing what is for the common good. Back in 1979 there was debate in the Parliament on a motion which was framed to stop Medicare funding of abortions. Bowen, a strict Catholic, was strongly opposed to the motion. He did not think the motion was about abortion. He thought it was about money.' Frank Brennan's 2017 Lionel Bowen Lecture

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  • RELIGION

    The Catholic wrap-up at the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 February 2017
    74 Comments

    Last Monday, the Royal Commission commenced its three-week forensic examination of the causes of child sexual abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church in Australia over the last 60 years. 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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