Keywords: Social Contract

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Royal baby's semi-charmed life

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 24 July 2013
    15 Comments

    For all the intrusions this tiny prince will have to endure in the years that stretch ahead, there will exist, as a salve of sorts, the incalculable benefits that his social status has randomly afforded him. We shouldn't diminish the joy of the royal couple, but we should be wary of allowing our sustained and fawning attention to further entrench the idea that some people are inherently more valuable than others.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    PNG solution at odds with international law

    • Justin Glyn
    • 23 July 2013
    13 Comments

    The PNG solution includes permanent exclusion from Australia in a small, poor and violent country already unable to accommodate the refugees from West Papua whom it hosts. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus claims it complies with international law. A quick glance at the much put-upon Refugee Convention suggests this is may be a rather optimistic assessment.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The small-l liberal tradition of brutal border control

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 12 July 2013
    8 Comments

    Many on the left might shudder at the mention of Philip Ruddock or think that his views on migration control were extreme and 'illiberal'. But in fact his views rested on mainstream liberal ideas of limited freedom. In Australia the concepts offered by the liberal tradition have been employed by both sides of politics to give a 'reasonable' varnish to inhumane migration control policies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pragmatic answers to the asylum seeker question

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 June 2013
    10 Comments

    'I want to outline the contours for a better approach — better than forcibly turning around boats, better than transporting people to Nauru and Manus Island or to Malaysia to join an asylum queue of 100,000 or permitting people to reside in the Australian community but without work rights and with inadequate welfare provision.' Frank Brennan speaks at the Australian Catholic University National Asylum Summit 2013.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Solidarity on Europe's horizons

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 14 June 2013
    1 Comment

    At present all that seems to unite European citizens is the negative sentiment of 'Euroscepticism'. There's a gulf between citizens' opinions, and the policies pursued to solve Europe's most pressing problems. For committed Europeans the important discussions to be had now aren't just concerned with institutional design, but with 'the fundamental questions'. Enter the philosophers.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Best of 2012: The upside down world of global capital

    • David James
    • 09 January 2013
    1 Comment

    Money is not like water, that 'flows' around the world, reaching 'equilibrium', or experiencing 'volatility'. It is transactions between people, based on trust. It enables the cooperation that forms the basis of social life. Human beings should be at the centre. Yet that is the opposite of what is happening. Monday 27 August 

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  • EDUCATION

    Gillard's education pipedream

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 20 December 2012
    16 Comments

    In setting a target of Australia reaching the OECD's top five school systems by 2025 the Prime Minister has made a rod for her own back. It is difficult to see our present way of organising, funding and governing schooling getting us anywhere near that target. But what kind of system might?

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  • RELIGION

    The Church is not beyond reproach

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 November 2012
    1 Comment

    'Might not the chief problem with Church language in the public square be that we tend to come from a position of moral superiority, approaching those dreadfully compromised politicians who will do anything to be elected? The abuse crisis reminds us that the Church is not irreproachable.' Text from Fr Frank Brennan's presentation at the Anglican Church of Australia's Public Affairs Commission Conference, November 2012.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sting in the tail of Gillard charities red tape reduction

    • Paul O'Callaghan
    • 07 November 2012
    2 Comments

    Last week, the Federal Government streamlined bureaucracy when it legislated for a single body to regulate charities and not for profits. But it is also pursuing a new charity tax under the guise of cracking down on abuse of the current system, by 'better targeting of tax concessions'. This could force agencies to downsize programs that support disadvantaged Australians.

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  • RELIGION

    Law and justice for abuse victims, Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 November 2012

    'Even without the political static which is drowning us all out down there in Canberra, there is real doubt whether the Gillard bluff 'Don't get on a boat because you might end up in Nauru' can do what the Howard bluff could not deliver.' Full text from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's Law and Justice Oration at the Law and Justice Foundation 2012 Justice Awards Dinner, Parliament House, Sydney.

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  • RELIGION

    Mabo 20 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 October 2012

    'Though land rights and self-determination provide no utopia for the contemporary indigenous Australian community, they have belatedly put right an ancient wrong. The cost and inconvenience are unavoidable. Terra nullius is no longer an option.' Full text is from Fr Frank Brennan's keynote speech at the Central Queensland Law Association Conference, Mercure Capricorn Resort, Yeppoon, 27 October 2012.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom and the law

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 September 2012

    'The common law leaves a gap between the mandates of the law and the conduct that we choose to engage in according to our individual moral standards. We call that gap 'freedom'. The challenge is determining the width of that gap for groups bound by religious faith which differs from the Australian majority.' Frank Brennan launches Carolyn Evans' Legal Protection of Religious Freedom in Australia. Full text

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