keywords: Separation Of Powers

  • RELIGION

    I am afraid of dying, but I have hope

    • Moira Rayner
    • 27 March 2018
    5 Comments

    This Easter, and Orthodox Easter, and Passover, and at the changing of the seasons, I am prepared to reassert my faith. That whatever evil brings, compassion, courage and passionate commitment to the old values of honesty, accountability and care for others will bring the enormous change that was promised so long ago.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom in an age of equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 September 2016
    18 Comments

    'No good will be served by a royal commission auspiced by the state telling a Church how it judges or complies with its theological doctrines and distinctive moral teachings. By all means, set universal standards of practice expected of all institutions dealing with children, but do not trespass on the holy ground of religious belief and practice.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ addresses the Freedom for Faith Conference in Melbourne, 23 September 2016.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    ACT makes a dog's breakfast of marriage equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2012: If Clive Palmer was a High Court judge

    • Patrick McCabe
    • 11 January 2013
    2 Comments

    Imagine Attorney-General Nicola Roxon appoints Palmer as the newest High Court judge. Justice Palmer sets about rewriting the law in radical ways, freeing mining companies from regulation and approving disbanding the Australian Greens. Surely such an appointment could be challenged? Actually, no. Monday 21 May 

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2011: Gillard's Malaysia solution stumble

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 January 2012
    2 Comments

    The Malaysia solution has hit a snag called the High Court of Australia. The Government is now in very stormy waters, because the rule of law and the separation of powers do not readily yield to the sound bites of populist sentiment and the fear tactics of politicians. Published 8 August 2011

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2010: Tony Abbott's missing moral core

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 11 January 2011
    18 Comments

    Tony Abbott has been in public life for a long time. Most recently there has been his meteoric rise to leadership of the Liberal party and to a hair’s breadth from the prime ministership itself. Charming and disarming as he can be, there is something deeply disturbing in the way he carries out his public role.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Triggs champions common compassion

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 June 2018
    16 Comments

    In the 1930s a Jewish Australian was trying to bring to Australia a Jewish family who were in grave danger in Austria. Asked by immigration what made him want to bring the family of his daughter's pen friend, none of whom he had ever met, he replied, 'Common compassion.' The family could not come, and most were later killed.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Different country, different culture (or how different legal systems view deal-making)

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 October 2017

    In the 16th century it was the Dominican friars like Vitoria, Las Casas and Montesino in Salamanca who confronted the state and challenged public opinion about the rights of the indigenous peoples in Spain's newly colonised lands. Not even the most nostalgic and forgiving Jesuit would opine that the modern practitioners of Morality with a capital M challenging the powers of the market and the state would be found in a modern monastery.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    No minister is an island

    • Kate Galloway
    • 23 June 2017
    9 Comments

    Three Commonwealth ministers faced the Victorian Court of Appeal on 16 June to make submissions as to why they shouldn't be charged with contempt of court. This extraordinary occurrence arose because the ministers made public comments about a sentencing matter still under deliberation. Andrew Hamilton has in these pages looked at how the ministers' comments might offend the presumption of innocence. However, there is a further issue at stake - a question of good government.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    An inclusive Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 June 2017
    1 Comment

    This evening, we come together deliberately as people of diverse faiths and none, affirming the blessing of life in an inclusive country where all world views are to be respected. We are able to affirm that our spiritual lives sustain and strengthen our public lives and the vitality of the polis. Our Muslim hosts show us how to give thanks reverently for all the blessings of life, and how to attest publicly the spiritual dimension of all human life. Those of us who are migrants or descendants of migrants need to be particularly attentive to the yearnings and aspirations of those Australians who rightly claim an indigenous heritage with ancestors who have thrived on this continent for up to 60,000 years.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    On Aboriginal land: seeking a place at the table

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 May 2017
    6 Comments

    Indigenous leaders this last week have called for the creation of two new legal entities. They want a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution, and a Makarrata Commission set up by legislation. The Makarrata Commission would supervise agreement making between governments and First Nations and engage in truth telling about history. The envisaged destination is a national Makarrata (or treaty). So the immediate constitutional issue is the creation of the First Nations Voice. There is no point in proceeding with a referendum on a question which fails to win the approval of Indigenous Australia. Neither is there any point in proceeding with a referendum which is unlikely to win the approval of the voting public.

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  • RELIGION

    Ensuring justice for all after the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 February 2017
    3 Comments

    The commission's forensic scrutiny of past actions of church officials in no way constitutes an interference with the freedom of religion. Its spotlight is to be welcomed, provided only that it is shone on a truly representative sample of all institutions which have been found wanting and provided the same light filter is applied to all institutions. I do however have a problem with the commission making findings on issues like the want of compassion when those findings are made only against a Church.

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