keywords: Confidentiality

  • AUSTRALIA

    Confidentiality, Confession and the law

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2018
    15 Comments

    Victoria's government has promised legislation to force religious ministers to report information about child sexual abuse received in Confession, and called a royal commission after revelations a lawyer breached the professional duty of confidentiality to clients. The implications of these breaches of confidentiality deserve reflection.

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  • RELIGION

    Confidentiality in the confessional and psychiatrist's rooms

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 August 2012
    19 Comments

    The news that Aurora accused James Holmes had sought psychiatric help may broaden the Australian discussion of the secrecy of confession. The exemption of certain privileged conversations from the duty of disclosure may be justified on the grounds of the public good.

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  • RELIGION

    Softening the pontifical secret

    • Kieran Tapsell
    • 19 November 2018
    14 Comments

    It is understandable that canonists would try to find a kinder interpretation for the pontifical secret, given that the cover up caused more children to be abused, but in the canonical system, you cannot get away from the plain meaning of the words and the interpretation placed on them by the Roman Curia.

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  • RELIGION

    Breaking the seal for the common good

    • Peter Johnstone
    • 18 July 2018
    46 Comments

    The arguments for exemption ignore or deny the harm to children that can arise from failure to report. They claim the law would be ineffective because few paedophiles go to confession, and might not confess if the seal did not apply. Such conjectural arguments ignore the basic principle that all harm to a child must be forestalled.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's arms boost is morally indefensible

    • Noah Vaz
    • 13 February 2018
    10 Comments

    When Australia's arms sales reach the shores of countries and parties with histories of human rights abuses and blunders, the growth or even existence of a defence exports industry must be heavily questioned.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    We are links in the chain of asylum seeker cruelty

    • Rod Grant
    • 18 November 2016
    18 Comments

    Having a sense of something as right or wrong, good or bad, is the essence of humanity. We get it from home, from education, religion, friends, the media. It's the sniff test or the pub test or the gut feeling or the Bible or Quran or Torah. We all have it. And just as people have a sense of right and wrong, we also have a very good humbug detector, and it's clanging loudly when politicians unctuously claim all their 'stop the boats' strategies are driven by desire to prevent drownings at sea.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Mandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

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  • RELIGION

    Robber bands in Parliament

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 February 2014
    14 Comments

    Augustine wrote of the Roman Empire, 'Without justice, states are robber bands.' His mordant comment aimed to strip away the self-congratulatory rhetoric of empire from the reality of a Rome concerned purely with asking how to achieve desired goals uncontrolled by respect for human dignity. If we appreciate how robber bands work we can better understand what states do, including Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Community sector sickened by managerial mindset

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 August 2013
    10 Comments

    Although community organisations are often a burr in the saddle of a managerially minded government, they are important because they represent a humane vision and because they can reflect back to government an intimate experience of what is happening to the people whom they serve. Their advocacy, even when unwanted, keeps governments in touch with human needs.

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  • RELIGION

    The healing God of the Royal Commission

    • Fatima Measham
    • 12 April 2013
    14 Comments

    The Church is unique among the institutions under scrutiny from the Royal Commission. The trust laypeople hold in priests and other vowed religious is not the same trust held in teachers, doctors and coaches. It is sourced from the stories that feed their faith. This is the context in which the betrayal must be understood. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gina's subpoena threatens press freedom

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 March 2013
    11 Comments

    During the week, media power brokers portrayed Communications Minister Stephen Conroy as a Stalinist enemy of press freedom. This coincided with an assault on one of its core principles — the protection of journalists' sources — by Gina Rinehart, one of Australia's up and coming media barons. It appears politicians are scared to speak out.

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