Human Rights

Podcast: The necessity of Indigenous constitutional recognition

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On this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Sydney-based barristers Simeon Beckett and Susan Phillips. In this episode, Mr Beckett and Ms Phillips explain why it is so important for the Australian constitution to acknowledge the First Nations peoples and what change will emerge as a result, why the Bar Associations are so supportive of such a change, and the role of member associations across our national legal profession on sociocultural or… Podcast: The necessity… Read More »

Julian Burnside Oration: Fear is the great threat to multiculturalism in Australia

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Last night, the human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC gave the annual Walter Lipmann Oration at the Melbourne Town Hall presented by the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Julian Burnside Daily Review His speech is reproduced in its entirety below. In it, Burnside charts Australia’s inconsistent, if not volatile, approach to multiculturalism and how the John Howard Tampa affair has shaped the last 17 sorry years of our treatment of refugees. He argues that the Tampa episode, coupled with the terror attack of ... Read More »

‘Boat person’ Frank Lowy calls for more migrants

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Billionaire Sir Frank Lowy has warned Australia would be “moving in the wrong direction” if calls for a lower migrant intake are heeded. Richard Wood 9news The Central European-born businessman last night gave the 15th annual address of the think tank he founded, the Lowy Institute. Mr Lowy, 87, told a gathering of business and political figures he backed a “big Australia”, but noted his views on expanding the country puts him at odds with many. The Wesfield co-founder was ... Read More »

Australia is reported to UN human rights council over illegal detention of asylum seekers

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Government condemned for arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, including a stateless man held for nearly nine years… Ben Doherty The Guardian United Nations body has condemned Australia’s arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, one of whom has been held without charge or trial for nearly nine years. The UN working group on arbitrary detention – which reports to the human rights council, on which Australia sits – said in its annual report it was concerned by “the rising prevalence ... Read More »

Jailing of Reuters journalists ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’, says Aung San Suu Kyi

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Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, says two jailed Reuters journalists can appeal their seven-year sentence, and that their jailing had nothing to do with freedom of expression. ABC Asked how she felt about jailing journalists as a democratic leader, Suu Kyi said: “They were not jailed because they were journalists, they were jailed because … the court has decided that they have broken the… She made her comments at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on ... Read More »

Australia deports Iraqi asylum seeker whose appeal was due next week

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Lawyers scrambled to get a legal injunction preventing the deportation but were kept from contacting the man in time. Helen Davidson The Guardian Australian immigration authorities have deported an Iraqi asylum seeker against his will and despite there being a pending court case scheduled to sit next week. Advocates and lawyers scrambled on Wednesday night to get a legal injunction but were prevented from contacting the man on the phone, and by the time a barrister was found to lodge ... Read More »

Elder abuse: Many people committing financial abuse unintentionally, MP says

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Could you be abusing your elderly relatives without realising it? A WA politician says many people are unintentionally breaking the law by taking financial advantage of their older relatives. ABC Greens MP Alison Xamon, the deputy chair of the parliamentary committee investigating elder abuse, said some people did not realise what they were doing was unacceptable and illegal. “People that have managed to get control of their parents’ finances, for example, who just say ‘oh no, Mum and Dad would ... Read More »

National anthem protest: 9yo refuses to stand because anthem is for ‘white people of Australia’

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Teachers at a Brisbane primary school have disciplined a nine-year-old girl for refusing to stand for the national anthem during assembly. By Talissa Siganto and staff ABC Primary school student Harper Nielsen was given a lunch time detention on Friday for peacefully protesting against the song she said is “wrong”. “When it says ‘we are young’ it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us for over 50,000 years,” she said. “When it was originally written, Advance Australia ... Read More »

Hungary’s Viktor Orban accuses EU of ‘abuse of power’

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The Hungarian premier has told EU lawmakers that Brussels’ actions against Budapest “violates the EU treaty.” Viktor Orban is facing pressure to correct measures that have undermined “fundamental values” of the EU. DW Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday told the European Parliament that potential disciplinary measures against his country are a “moral decision” that amounts to “abuse of power.” Under pressure from the European Commission, Orban is facing a vote that could see Hungary lose its voting rights in the bloc ... Read More »

Human rights activists outraged as Egypt court sentences 75 to death

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Cairo: An Egyptian court has sentenced 75 people to death, including leaders of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, for their involvement in a 2013 sit-in protest in Cairo that spiralled into violence and resulted in… Mohamed Ezz The Sydney Morning Herald New York Times Cairo Criminal Court was considering the case of 739 people facing charges ranging from killing police officers, incitement to violence and damaging property during the 2013 violence in Rabaa al-Adawiya, a square in… Forty-seven people, including the ... Read More »

Does the will exist to end bullying and intimidation of women in politics?

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As the list of federal female politicians who have either experienced or witnessed bullying and intimidation in the workplace continued to grow this week, a key question remained — is there any… Jessica Strutt ABC The claims have no doubt only further dissuaded more women from entering politics — a blow to a group already grossly underrepresented in parliaments at both a state and federal level. The debate about the treatment of female MPs was sparked when federal Liberal MP ... Read More »

EU weighs new sanctions against Myanmar over Rohingya

Supporters of detained Myanmar journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo march during a rally in Yangon demanding for their release on September 1, 2018. - The two Reuters journalists in Myanmar accused of breaking a state secrets law while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims face verdict on September 3. (Photo by - / AFP)        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanctions could target top officials or businesses linked to country’s military. Simon Marks Politico Several EU countries are considering expanding sanctions against Myanmar in the wake of calls from the United Nations for senior military officials from the country to be investigated for genocide against the Rohingya population. The EU has already placed sanctions — including a travel ban and asset freezes — on seven senior officials accused of committing serious human rights abuses against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. But mounting evidence of human rights violations — ... Read More »

Can this Egyptian actor’s photo in bed with another man send him to prison?

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CAIRO — A photo and a gay pride flag on a T-shirt has spurred controversy and eventually a legal case in Egypt last month, targeting actor Khaled Abol Naga and the international clothing brand Bershka. Ahmed Fouad Al-Monitor Lawyer Ahmed al-Ganzouri told Al-Monitor that both Abol Naga and Bershka risk facing legal charges under Article 294 of the Egyptian Penal Code. The article stipulates six months to three years of imprisonment for inciting adultery, immorality and prostitution, verbally, by implication, by signs or any similar means. The Egyptian ... Read More »

Ending Child Marriage in the United Kingdom

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Hypocrisy Undermines UK pledge to Fight Child Marriage Overseas Heather Barr HRW This week Pauline Latham, a Conservative MP, introduced a bill to ban marriage before the age of 18 in England and Wales. She has support from across the political spectrum for an effort that is long overdue. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, children aged 16 and 17 can marry with their parents’ permission. In Scotland, the minimum age of marriage is 16, with no parental permission required. ... Read More »

In Australia, One Man Can Decide a Migrant’s Fate. Did He Abuse That Power?

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SYDNEY, Australia — When a suicidal 10-year-old boy in an offshore detention camp asked to come to Australia for psychiatric care, Peter Dutton’s answer was no. By Damien Cave and Isabella Kwai The New York Times When an Australian combat veteran requested a refugee visa for his Afghan interpreter, Mr. Dutton — Australia’s top immigration official — also refused. But when an Italian au pair, who worked for a former colleague, needed a reprieve from deportation, Mr. Dutton obliged. It was at least the second ... Read More »

Young and resilient

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The first study of young refugees settling in Australia suggests they are adapting well to their new country By Dr Winnie Lau and Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, University of Melbourne Pursuit For people fleeing war and persecution, forced migration is an arduous and risky journey. But even for those who find new hope in a different country, adapting to a new culture is a… And of the 68.5 million people around the globe displaced by war and political conflict, over half ... Read More »