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Category Archives: Human Rights
ELAINE PEARSON. Australia’s Government must guard against foreign interference, but not by curbing our rights.
Authoritarian governments around the world use broadly drafted national security laws to silence human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, and critics of the government. Australia should not join them by passing a revised espionage and foreign interference law that excludes safeguards … Continue reading
Communities are a fundamental requirement for the human condition; they consist of a group of people with shared interests, similar attitudes – often with aligned social values -resulting in delegated responsibilities. A community is a product of independent actors joining … Continue reading
The government’s urgent pursuit of foreign interference bills prior to the July by-elections aims to wedge Labor for short term electoral gain. However as Labor agrees to support the bills, yet more of our political freedoms are being destroyed at … Continue reading
MICHAEL McKINLEY. A possible deep-seated flaw in the ADF’s third inquiry into allegations of misconduct and war crimes.
The allegations against rogue elements within the Special Air Service Regiment are, sadly, almost predictable: other, similar units in the military traditions of both Britain and the United States have succumbed to such behaviour in similar circumstances as those faced … Continue reading
Panopticon: a circular prison with cells arranged around a central well, from which prisoners could at all times be observed (Jeremy Bentham). Mr Turnbull has told Neil Mitchell security and police will be given extra power to conduct random checks … Continue reading
Pope Francis’ letter to the people of Chile over child sexual abuse in that country and its cover-up would suggest that he might have read the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Instead … Continue reading
India Inclusive event hears that attacks against minorities have increased since the BJP came to power
As Australians wait to hear the government’s response to the Ruddock review of religious freedom (and indeed, the content of the report itself), it is worth considering exactly how the two intersect in this largely secular society. Australia has neither … Continue reading
The bomb that killed Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991, blew his face off. India’s former prime minister, and scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, was identified by his sneakers as he lay spread-eagled on the ground. Some Indian newspapers, refusing … Continue reading
ON BLOODY MONDAY this past week, when the number of Palestinian killed and wounded was rising by the hour, I asked myself: what would I have done if I had been a youngster of 15 in the Gaza Strip?
The region looks to Australia as a functioning democracy. We shouldn’t sideline human rights issues for trade and security ties.
This year, just before ANZAC Day, I read a poignant, insightful piece by Nadine Chemali about what new migrants to Australia really thought about Anzac Day.
The fate of Amber Rudd offers some hope to Australians who disapprove of Dutton and his methods.
MICHAEL KEATING AND JON STANFORD. Australia’s strategic risks and future defence policy; Part 2: Future defence strategy, capability and submarines
In this second article we discuss the need to develop a defence strategy that involves shifting from a force structure designed for coalition warfare to one optimised for the independent defence of Australia. We focus on the requirement for new … Continue reading
Esteemed social researcher Hugh Mackay’s latest book Australia Reimagined: Towards a more compassionate, less anxious society is exquisitely timed. As the daily headlines tell of bank and church scandals and failures in the health, education and housing systems, many of … Continue reading
MARGARET O’CONNOR. Institutional reform following the Royal Commission on child sex abuse is women’s work.
Women – from those who quietly brought pressure on parliamentarians through to the Prime Minister and Governor General – brought about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Yet the response to the Commission is being handled … Continue reading
We should, of course, question these things more. We could ask why – if we were actually genuine about remembering patriots who have died for this country – why would we not first spend $100m on a museum honouring the … Continue reading
And so, the Monash Centre, for all its good intentions, for all the honour it does the dead, is at heart a centre for forgetting. It leads us to forget that the 62,000 young men who died in world war … Continue reading
Failing to see or accept the big picture is a condition that is currently affecting many organisations in our world, says Garry Everett, and four particular organisations stand out as having significant problems in this regard.
TIM SOUTPHOMMASANE. Australian business and other organisations persistently fall short on cultural diversity.
Australia is widely celebrated as a multicultural triumph, but any such success remains incomplete. There remains significant under-representation of cultural diversity in the senior leadership of Australian organisations. Our society does not yet appear to be making the most of … Continue reading
JIM COOMBS: The “moral crisis” in Cricket is a “beat up” with media frenzy making a mountain out of a molehill.
One would have to assume that all these outraged commentators have never played cricket with anything more substantial than a used tennis ball. For those of us who have played the game with any interest in the techniques and science … Continue reading
Living, as the world does, with slavery, colonialism, brutal civil conflicts, and the Holocaust still casting the blackest of clouds over us, the principle of ‘anti-racism’ has – rightly – been developed to become an incontestable foundation of our ethics … Continue reading
The last few days have seen a media preoccupation with relentless attacks on a new federal Labor proposal to eliminate the payment of cash cheques to those who don’t need their dividend imputation credits because they pay no tax. The … Continue reading
The current Bill before parliament to reform electoral donations is the most comprehensive attempt I have seen at silencing public advocacy in 30 years. It does not succeed in its supposed aim to restrict foreign donations – an aim that … Continue reading
In their recent book, How Democracies Die, discussed this week on Late Night Live, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, outlined how democracies can be undermined and ultimately destroyed without the violent coup of Pinochet, but by abuse of the system itself. … Continue reading
Proposed amendments to the Electoral Act if enacted will profoundly constrain or shut down political advocacy that is the lifeblood of a healthy democracy.
In commercial matters religious freedom needs no further protection. There is no case for extending exemptions from existing anti-discrimination measures to the commercial provision of facilities, catering, furniture or entertainment that may play a part in hospitality following a marriage. Such … Continue reading
In Pearls and Irritations recently, Elizabeth Evatt (Why not protect all our rights and freedoms?) called for a Human Rights Act to protect all our rights and freedoms and not just freedom of religion. The issue of freedom of religion … Continue reading
I spent the summer of 1983-84 in the Philippines. During this time I fell in love with the Philippines and its people and felt ashamed to be Australian.
The moral basis of contemporary Australian society is being squeezed dry by political opportunism and contempt for civic virtue among our political leaders. The ignorance those leaders demonstrate about the insult Australia Day has become for many Indigenous people is … Continue reading