keywords: Civil Liberties

  • AUSTRALIA

    Protecting civil liberties in a time of COVID-19

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 10 March 2020
    6 Comments

    Authorities can also be fearful, paranoid at the unruly nature of their subjects. Public health emergencies have been declared in various countries and while these are deemed necessary, they come with the exercise of broad, muscular powers.

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  • 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dutton's ASIO bill goes Kafkaesque

    • Justin Glyn
    • 18 May 2020
    42 Comments

    The new ASIO Powers Amendment Bill 2020 is being rushed through Parliament in a time of pandemic, guaranteeing that it will lack even the minimal level of scrutiny normally accorded to legislation dealing with ‘national security’.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Keeping an eye on police powers

    • Bree Alexander
    • 18 April 2020
    5 Comments

    Most people would agree that certain measures are necessary to both protect those who face the greatest health risks and so that our health systems don’t get overwhelmed. However, these astronomical limitations on civil liberties raise concerns.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We need a robust democracy now more than ever

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 March 2020
    20 Comments

    COVID-19 brings many tests. Amid the health, economic and financial crises brought about by the pandemic, our greatest test is to conduct ourselves as a robust democracy and to demonstrate that we are a fair society. Neither test will be easy to pass, but we must aim to emerge at the other end as a better society.

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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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