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Keywords: Human Rights Commission

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Legitimised judicial captivity: The Assange case

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 16 December 2021

    The legal pursuit of Assange is disturbingly unique not only for using an archaic law against a non-US national; it is also the first instance of an international application of it against a publisher. The law, if applied in the way suggested by the charges, criminalise the receipt, dissemination and publication of national security information, irrespective of motive. If the US Espionage Act 1917 were applied in this way, it would appear to subvert the free press provision in the United States Constitution.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The first sign of corruption

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 December 2021
    9 Comments

    Corruption in society is a sign that respect for human dignity has been eroded. If we identify the value of human beings with their ability to compete, we are easily led to treat other people and groups in society as instruments to be used for our own gain. The result is that the integrity of public institutions and people’s trust in them are eaten away.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Where to now with Religious Discrimination?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 November 2021
    13 Comments

    On Thursday, three Bills were introduced to the House of Representatives: the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021, the Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021, and the Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2021.  Collectively, these bills constitute the Morrison Government’s response to the Ruddock Religious Freedom Review provided to government in May 2018.   

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Outgrowing apartheid: FW de Klerk

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 23 November 2021
    29 Comments

    The passing of South Africa’s last apartheid president, FW de Klerk, raises pressing questions about a complex historical character who, according to his brother, Willem de Klerk, slowly outgrew apartheid. In a critical sense, he was bound, understandably, by both time and context: race, the need to defend a racial hierarchy, the historical role of a segregationist system that saw his all-white National Party retain power for decades. 

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  • RELIGION

    More than strawberry on the cake: A call for greater gender equity

    • Andrea Dean
    • 18 November 2021
    34 Comments

    It’s good news to see women being appointed to significant roles within the Catholic Church, including several recent appointments of women to important positions in the Holy See. In early November Pope Francis appointed Sr Raffaella Petrini as secretary-general of the Vatican’s governorate. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious discrimination laws coming to the boil

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 November 2021
    36 Comments

    It’s four years since the Australian Parliament amended the Marriage Act 1961 to provide that marriage means ‘the union of two people to the exclusion of all others’. The legislation followed the plebiscite on same sex marriage. To address the concerns of some religious groups, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set up an expert panel chaired by long time Liberal Party minister Philip Ruddock to report on whether Australian law adequately protected the human right to freedom of religion. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why our defamation laws are no longer fit for purpose

    • Cristy Clark
    • 10 November 2021
    7 Comments

    Peter Dutton has recently argued that funds for defamation actions should be a ‘workplace entitlement’ for Members of Parliament (MPs). I’d like to repeat that another way: the Honorable Peter Dutton, Commonwealth Minister for Defence, would like the taxpayer to fund MPs to sue members of the Australian public for defamation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The promise of alchemy

    • David Rowland
    • 01 November 2021
    8 Comments

    Ben Jonson is one of the great English Renaissance playwrights but he can also be challenging for the modern reader. When I first came to Jonson some years ago, I attempted a comedy from 1610, The Alchemist. I soon felt out of my depth. Conceding defeat, I put the book aside and told myself that there would be some ‘other time’. This year in Melbourne, with the theatres closed, the streets largely deserted, and travel restrictions firmly in place, that ‘other time’ arrived.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Disciplining delinquent words

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 October 2021
    2 Comments

    Sins have often been divided into those of thought, word and deed, with deed regarded as the worst. Today we pay more attention to sinful words, realising the harm that they can do. Bad words can bring social exclusion. Yet complex questions surrounding the use of words remain. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    From persecution to protection and the purgatory in between

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 October 2021
    5 Comments

    Mark Twain is reported to have said ‘history does not repeat, it rhymes.’ Watching a US helicopter evacuating people from the US Embassy in Kabul, that was rhyming. Many have seen this picture before, 30 April 1975, but then it was Saigon. The massive confusion, mixed messages, terrified people, lack of human rights protection happened in 1975, and still happens in 2021.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The right to a healthy environment

    • Cristy Clark
    • 21 October 2021
    2 Comments

    On 8 October, at its 48th session, the United Nations Human Rights Council formally adopted a resolution recognising the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. It emphasises that ‘environmental degradation, climate change and unsustainable development constitute some of the most pressing and serious threats to the ability of present and future generations to enjoy human rights, including the right to life’.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The sacked professor Ridd's freedom of speech

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 October 2021
    5 Comments

    The High Court decision has been confusing for many people because it both upheld Ridd’s right to intellectual freedom and the university’s entitlement to sack him for breaches during disciplinary proceedings which had followed upon two wrongly argued censures. Basically, Ridd won on the point of intellectual freedom but he lost on the other aspects of his behaviour which had nothing to do with the exercise of intellectual freedom. 

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