Law & Order

Brexit: UK can unilaterally revoke article 50, says ECJ

Britain can stop Brexit process without approval of member states, court of justice says Soverin Carrell The Guardian The UK can unilaterally stop the Brexit process, the European court of justice has said in a ruling that will boost demands for a second EU referendum. The court concluded that any EU member state can revoke an article 50 process without needing approval from every other member state, but only before its withdrawal comes into force. “The United Kingdom is free to revoke ... Read More »

Informer 3838: A web of deceit

In 2009, four Victoria Police officers would find themselves guarding their most valuable intelligence asset as she hid in the Hard Rock Hotel in Bali’s Kuta beach. Tammy Mills & Chris Vedelago The Age That year the lawyer-turned-informer, code-named 3838, had been receiving a stream of anonymous text messages and phone calls promising reprisals if she didn’t “stop telling lies” and “stop talking”. Police wanted to protect the lawyer until she could appear as a key witness in the most ... Read More »

PM escapes threat to his control of Parliament as Labor backs down on encryption

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has survived a dire threat to his control of Parliament from a determined attempt to change asylum seeker policy, sparking a blame game that forced Labor to back down on… David Crowe The Age Mr Morrison blocked attempts to amend migration laws to transfer more asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia, but was forced to delay a major policy on energy in order to avoid a… The ruthless tactics deepened hostilities between the ... Read More »

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency

From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things. Elizabeth Goitein The Atlantic In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump reached deep into his arsenal to try to deliver votes to Republicans. Most of his weapons were rhetorical, featuring a mix of lies and false inducements—claims that every congressional Democrat had signed on to an “open borders” bill (none had), that liberals were fomenting ... Read More »

What’s the Encryption Laws Got to do With the Social Sector?

Digital rights activists warn the implications of the federal government’s encryption bill will need to be closely watched by social sector organisations, who may be open to law enforcement agencies tapping their… Maggie Coggan PRObono Laws allowing police and intelligence agencies to intercept encrypted messages are expected to pass federal Parliament this week, with Labor and the Coalition government striking a deal on Tuesday… Labor’s approved changes include an ongoing committee process into 2019, and assurances that interception powers could ... Read More »

In her own words: Why a top criminal barrister became Informer 3838

Informer 3838 is a Victorian defence barrister who has represented a who’s who of Melbourne’s underworld, including major drug traffickers, murderers and Mafia figures. The Age She began providing information to police in mid-2003 and was a registered informer from 2005 to 2009, providing information about criminal associates and clients, some while she was simultaneously representing them in plea deals and court proceedings. She received a $2.88 million compensation payment from Victoria Police in 2010. Informer 3838 no longer has ... Read More »

‘Judges don’t get what journalists do’: Australia’s defamation law is having a chilling effect on the media

Few topics generate conversation around the proverbial office water-cooler like a celebrity defamation trial. Deborah Snow * The Age Classic contests over the years have included the 1982 case where architect Harry Seidler sued well-known cartoonist, Patrick Cook, over a brutal drawing Seidler thought impugned his artistic genius. Then there was the famous attempt by onetime 60 Minutes reporter Richard Carleton to challenge Media Watch over its claim that he’d plagiarised a story aired by the BBC. These were cases where the complainants fell well short ... Read More »

Chinese government orders fishing boats to behave during G-20 summit

Beijing has issued a notice to Chinese fishing boats operating overseas, warning them to avoid illegal activities during the G-20 summit in Argentina this weekend. Nyshka Chandran CNBC Asia-Pacific The country’s Agricultural Ministry released a statement this week asking Chinese offshore fishing enterprises to stay at least three nautical miles away from other countries’ marine exclusive economic zones. This distance will ensure that violations such as cross-border fishing don’t occur, it… These measures are designed to protect China’s image as ... Read More »

South Sudan region ‘sees huge increase in rape’, says charity

Dozens of women and girls have been subjected to rape and other violence over the past 10 days in a northern region of South Sudan, Doctors Without Borders has said. BBC A midwife at the charity said 125 women came to its clinic in Bentiu, more than in the whole of the previous 10 months. They included girls under 10, women over 65 and pregnant women, she added. The country has been ravaged by civil war for most of its ... Read More »

Prominent Chinese photographer taken by police in Uighur region: wife

Beijing: Lu Guang’s photos exposed the everyday realities of people on the margins of Chinese society: coal miners, drug addicts, HIV patients. WAtoday AP Now, the award-winning photographer is at the centre of his own stark story. He was taken away by state security agents three weeks ago for unknown reasons, Lu’s wife, Xu Xiaoli, told The Associated Press. Xu said Lu was traveling in Xinjiang on November 3 when she lost contact with him. He had connected with photographers in ... Read More »

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law. James R. Holmes FP Sunday’s encounter between Russian and Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, the entryway to the Sea of Azov east of the Crimean peninsula, revived an age-old question in international politics: Can a coastal nation own the sea? International law says no; authoritarian states such as China and Russia say ... Read More »

Former archbishop Philip Wilson’s lawyers say forcing a child into a sex act wasn’t indecent assault in the 1970s

Lawyers appealing former archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson’s conviction for covering up child abuse have argued that convincing a child to perform a sex act did not constitute indecent assault in the 1970s. Ben Millington ABC Wilson was convicted in May of concealing the indecent assault of a boy by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher in the Hunter region of NSW. The court found that in 1976 the victim confided in Wilson that he had been sexually abused, yet Wilson failed ... Read More »

United Nations finds the deadliest place for women is their home

Washington: Last year, 238 women across the globe were killed every day. Six women were killed every hour, at least four of them at the hands of someone they knew. Deanna Paul The Sydney Morning Herald / The Washington Post According to the 2018 report on the killing of women and girls released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, about 87,000 were killed worldwide in 2017, 58 per cent of them by an intimate partner or relative. Many of ... Read More »

US ambassador clashes with Warsaw over media freedom

Government efforts to rein in critical media lead to a confrontation with Washington. By MICHAŁ BRONIATOWSKI Politico WARSAW — The U.S. ambassador to Poland tangled with the country’s right-wing government over an American-owned TV station that has fallen afoul of the ruling party. Polish media released a picture of a letter sent by Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (whose name was misspelled), warning the government to lay off efforts to prosecute journalists at the TVN24 news channel, owned by ... Read More »

Through confusion and panic, Ukraine digests what martial law will mean

Increased security around ports and stations already being reported, but consequences for ordinary Ukrainians are unclear Oliver Carroll Independent A day after the Ukrainian parliament voted to introduce martial law across 10 border regions, there was little clarity about what it would actually mean in practice. With parts of the government on different pages, and the introduction of measures that could cover most aspects of life, even family, some areas of the country bordered on panic mode. In the southern city of Odessa, there ... Read More »

Mexico: Forced Disappearance, an Ongoing Crime

As human rights lawyers, we generally don’t rank the crimes we document. But after interviewing the families of countless victims over the years, I’m convinced there’s no crime more cruel than the “disappearance” of a human being. Daniel Wilkinson HRW Published in El Universal In 2003, during one of my first research trips to Mexico, I interviewed women in Guerrero state who had lost family members during the country’s “dirty war” in the early 1970s. Their missing loved ones were presumed ... Read More »