Civil Rights

Judges ‘overwhelmingly’ get it right, Vic Chief Judge says

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The Herald Sun has been corrected by Peter Kidd, Chief Judge of the Victorian County Court, for inaccurate and sensationalised reporting that suggested sentencing decisions by so-called “lenient judges” were… Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly Victoria’s Chief Judge has admonished News Corp for an article which suggested that prosecutors have increasingly succeeded in appeals for tougher jail terms. In a letter penned to the Herald Sun, Peter Kidd (pictured) rejected assertions made by journalist Aleks Devic that successful appeals brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions ... Read More »

Macron Defends Magazine That Labeled Erdogan a ‘Dictator’

James Boxell, editor for Bloomberg Gadfly, poses for a photograph in London, U.K. on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Bloomberg, London, U.K. Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Photographer: Simon Dawson 

Photographer: Simon Dawson
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French President Emmanuel Macron waded into a debate over a magazine cover that labeled Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a “dictator,” saying attacks on kiosks selling the latest issue were unacceptable. Helene Fouquet Bloomberg “Freedom of the press has no price: without it, it’s dictatorship,” Macron said on Twitter late on Monday. “It is totally unacceptable that Le Point posters are being ripped off kiosks on the grounds they displease the enemies of freedom of the press, in France ... Read More »

Have you got an end-of-life plan?

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Lawyers are encouraging us to think about how we want our lives to end as part of a campaign to record end-of-life wishes with a free online tool called Advance Care Directive. Melissa Coade LawyersWeekly While the topic of death and dying remain uncomfortable subjects for many, lawyers in South Australia are urging members of the community to think seriously about the end. These can include questions about whether a patient wishes to be resuscitated or placed on life support ... Read More »

Homeless vets with families: An untold part of veterans’ struggles

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In 2010, the Obama administration announced the ambitious goal of ending homelessness among veterans. Roya Ijadi-Maghsoodi The Conversation Over the last year, the number of veterans who are homeless dropped 30 percent in Los Angeles County. Nationwide, veteran homelessness fell by almost 50 percent since 2009. Yet statistics are only part of the story. What is missing from federal and state statistics, the media and the minds of many Americans, is the story of homeless veteran families. Through my work ... Read More »

Do you even know what apartheid means?

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Op-ed: A state with complete academic freedom, with Arab ministers and MKs, a state that fosters Arab professors, doctors, pharmacists and teachers, can’t be called an ‘apartheid state,’ unless it’s by ignorant or evil people. Noah Klieger y net news And the last person who can throw this accusation at Israel is a dictator like Erdoğan who has been cracking down on freedom of speech and the free press in his own country. In the late 1950s, on a flight ... Read More »

Andargachew Tsige pardoned by Ethiopia

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Attorney general says decision for Andargachew Tsige’s pardon was part of moves intended to ‘widen political space’. Al Jazeera and News Agencies Ethiopia has pardoned an opposition leader with British citizenship who had been sentenced to death. Andargachew Tsige was found guilty of “terrorism” and sentenced in absentia in 2009 over his role in the opposition group Ginbot 7. He was the organisation’s secretary-general. The father of three was arrested during a stopover at a… Berhanu Tsegaye, Ethiopia’s… Andargachew Tsige pardoned… Read More »

Irish abortion referendum: Ireland overturns abortion ban

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The Republic of Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to overturn the abortion ban by 66.4% to 33.6%. A referendum held on Friday resulted in a landslide win for the repeal side. BBC Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman’s life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality. The Eighth Amendment, which grants an equal right to life to the mother and unborn, will be replaced. The declaration was made at at Dublin Castle ... Read More »

‘We are absolutely in a new culture war’: ‘Religious freedom’ next on the Liberal agenda

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On Monday night, former deputy prime minister John Anderson delivered a rousing and ominous speech to a gathering of religious educators in Parliament House. Michael Koziol WAtoday With a gusto more suited to the Great Hall in which the Christian Schools Australia gala dinner normally takes place, Anderson dared speak the name of a spectre which is often invoked but rarely acknowledged: the culture war. “We’re living in the age of enormous cultural disharmony, I put it to you,” he ... Read More »

Tough new EU privacy regulations could lead to better protections in Australia

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Major personal data breaches, such as those that occurred recently at the Commonwealth Bank, Cambridge Analytica and Yahoo, have taught us how vulnerable our privacy is. Vincent Mitchell The Conversation Like the cigarette and alcohol markets, it took a long time to prove that poorly regulated data collection can do us harm. And as with passive smoking, we now know that data trading can harm those around us as well as ourselves. Regulators in the European Union are cracking down ... Read More »

Wikipedia publishes open letter to Turkey urging end to access ban

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Wikipedia is open for improvement by anyone around the world and should be open to editors in Turkey, the Wikimedia Foundation has stated in a letter addressed to the government of Turkey, where the website has been banned for over one year. SAN FRANSISCO Hurriyet “The Wikimedia Foundation is deeply concerned about recent statements attributed to the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime, and Communications Ahmet Arslan from [May 18] regarding the blockage of Wikipedia in Turkey,” Wikimedia Foundation General Counsel member Eileen B. Hershenov wrote in ... Read More »

Balancing mental illness and crime a job for judges not politicians

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In 1843 on a cold winter’s day in London, Daniel McNaughten, suffering intense paranoid delusions, went out to shoot the British prime minister, Sir Robert Peel. Duncan Fine The Age He missed and killed Peel’s private secretary. So, half a century before Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis, the courts were dealing with issues of crime and mental illness. The court found McNaughten not guilty by reason of insanity. There was a massive public outcry. Today in Melbourne, we’re still uneasily grappling ... Read More »

Texas school shooting: Arm teachers to stop gunmen, official says

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Arming more teachers could help tackle gunmen targeting students if there were “four to five guns to one”, a senior Texan official has said. BBC Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was speaking two days after 10 people were killed at the Santa Fe High School, which had an armed guard. He had previously said schools had “too many entrances and too many exits” and their design should be reconsidered. The proposal to arm teachers is not a new idea. After a ... Read More »

Ecuador removes Julian Assange’s extra security

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Ecuador has removed extra security at its London embassy following claims that $5m (£3.7m) was spent to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. BBC The money was used to monitor Mr Assange’s visitors, embassy staff and UK police, media reports in the UK and Ecuador said. Mr Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 after being granted asylum. He fled there to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, which he denies. The Swedish authorities have since dropped their ... Read More »

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

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The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

A Peace Of Fiction: Australia Should Celebrate A National Day Of Violence

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If we’re going to engage in so much violence, then why not celebrate it, ask Gideon Polya and Richard Hil. New Matilda What’s all this talk about peace? Why should Australia celebrate peace when we appear to be such a violence-prone nation? Someone recently suggested that instead of staging peace rallies, Australia should hold a National Violence Day, such is this nation’s dalliance with this most aberrant of practices. No doubt, such views will upset the Pollyannas amongst us, but ... Read More »

Law Society: ‘Antiquated laws’ compromise safety of sex workers in SA

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Measures to fully decriminalise sex work in South Australia has been welcomed by two of the state’s legal representative bodies, who say that sex workers should be afforded the same rights and protections as employees in any other industry. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly The Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2018 was introduced in the South Australian parliament last Wednesday. The effect of the legislative change will mean that sex work would be fully decriminalised in the state; it ... Read More »