Law & Order

Turkey is following footsteps of Russia and China in policing diaspora

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Erdogan’s purge is a threat to Turks living abroad and, more dangerously, to the rule of law everywhere. Transnational repression is increasingly woven into the fabric of the international order Francis Ghiles The Arab Weekly The globalisation of travel and finance and the spread of instantaneous communication, notably through social media, benefit civil society and woven links that encourage broad dialogue across borders. What is less often commented on is that countries have been handed useful and cheaper ways of ... Read More »

Polish Ambassador: Why the Antidefamation Law is Justified

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“Holocaust denial is not only denial of German crimes, but also other ways of falsifying history.” Piotr Wilczek The National Interest Over the past several days there have been many voices around the world commenting on Poland’s recently passed antidefamation legislation. Some unfortunately misinterpreted the wording of the legislation, others expressed concern, but almost all who spoke did so out of care for the memory of the Holocaust. This at its core, is Poland’s principle concern as well. The memory ... Read More »

Liberal MLA rejects need for UN oversight of Canberra’s ‘places of detention’

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The Canberra Liberals have rejected the need for a United Nations subcommittee tasked with protecting inmates from torture to have any oversight of the capital’s prisons, police and court cells. Daniel Burdon The Canberra Times The Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to ensure the ACT can meet the standards of the UN’s optional protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT), after the federal government ratified the rules in December. The new laws will mean UN inspectors will now be ... Read More »

Alex Salmond blasts ‘shameful’ repeal of Offensive Behaviour at Football Act

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Alex Salmond has slammed political opponents who voted to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act The controversial act, which was piloted by Salmond in 2011 was scrapped at Holyrood in January through a Member’s Bill. Angus Howarth The Scotsman However Salmond blasted those that voted to repeal accusing them of political point-scoring over principles. MSPs voted 65-61 to repeal the Act in January in a move that Salmond dubbed ‘shameful’. He said: “It is totally shameful. It is perfectly ... Read More »

The UK’s Hidden Hand in Julian Assange’s Detention

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It now emerges that the last four years of Julian Assange’s effective imprisonment in the Ecuadorean embassy in London have been entirely unnecessary. Jonathan Cook CounterPunch In fact, they depended on a legal charade. Behind the scenes, Sweden wanted to drop the extradition case against Assange back in 2013. Why was this not made public? Because Britain persuaded Sweden to pretend that they still wished to pursue the case. In other words, for more than four years Assange has been holed up ... Read More »

Big Data, Large Concerns

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Consent and accountability should be at the core of the new privacy law. The Supreme Court recently affirmed a fundamental right to privacy. by Amba Kak , Jason Schultz The Indian Express The government is now moving to enact a data privacy law, the Justice Shri Krishna Committee has released a comprehensive report and the consultation process is coming to a close. Multiple legal challenges against Aadhaar — many involving citizens’ privacy — are being heard before the Supreme Court. The government is keen to ... Read More »

Cornered in the shower and assaulted: the torment of a prisoner with disabilities

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I was interviewing prisoners in a male prison in Western Australia, on a sweltering afternoon, when Coen (not his real name) walked in, in his faded green prison uniform. Kriti Sharma The Sydney Morning Herald  For the first five minutes all he could say was, “It’s too shameful. I can’t tell you.” Coen, an Aboriginal man in his early 20s with a cognitive disability, had only been in prison for a few months but he looked defeated. With tears rolling ... Read More »

Who is Asma Jahangir ?

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Known for maintaining a resolute stance in the face of extreme pressure and opposition, Jahangir will be remembered as a champion for the disenfranchised The Indian Express Eminent lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore after she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday, according to Pakistan media. She was 66. “Asma suffered heart attack today morning and she was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. Doctors tried to save her life ... Read More »

Secrecy legislation should be ‘redrafted from scratch’, journalist union says

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Bill contains prison terms of up to 20 years for dealing with or publishing protected information harmful to Australia Michael McGowan The Guardian The Turnbull government’s concessions on secrecy laws do not go far enough and the legislation should be “withdrawn and redrafted from scratch”, Australia’s journalist union has argued. This week the Coalition watered down its proposed foreign interference laws following pressure from media organisations, Labor and the Greens, which opposition leader Bill Shorten had said would see journalists ... Read More »

ICC to probe alleged crimes in Philippines, Venezuela

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The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched initial probes on Feb. 7 into alleged crimes against humanity during the “war on drugs” in the Philippines and political upheaval in Venezuela. THE HAGUE Hurriyet “Since 2016, I have closely followed the situations” in both the Philippines and Venezuela, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement. After “a careful, independent and impartial review… I have decided to open a preliminary examination into each situation.” In the Philippines, her office would ... Read More »

Arrest rates soar as WA ‘bucks trend’

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WA recorded the biggest increase in the number of people caught breaking the law in Australia last financial year, with the rise being driven by assaults. Shane Wright The West Australian The number of alleged offenders aged 10 and over arrested by police rose 5 per cent, to 41,678, with 16 per cent of them juveniles — the highest proportion of youth offenders nationally —according to figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Since 2013-14, when the number ... Read More »

When judges wear wigs and robes, what’s so offensive about a niqab?

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The statue representing justice is blindfolded for a reason – to symbolise that all people are treated equally in our courts no matter their wealth, position in society or religious beliefs. Duncan Fine The Age Sometimes the courts fail to live up to that ideal. This week Justice Christopher Beale in the Victorian Supreme Court banned a woman who was wearing a niqab from sitting in the public area of the court where her husband is facing a trial on ... Read More »

Julian Assange loses challenge to UK arrest warrant, court to rule on new bid next week

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but immediately launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds. ABC Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would give her decision on February 13. A ruling in Mr Assange’s favour could pave the way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than five years. Mr ... Read More »

Child abuse redress scheme would exclude offshore detention victims, lawyers say

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Exclusive: Turnbull government says compensation should not be available to those who are not citizens or permanent residents Christopher Knaus The Guardian The government’s model for a national redress scheme would exclude children who were abused in Australia’s offshore detention network, a lawyers’ association has warned. A national redress scheme was one of the key recommendations of the landmark child abuse royal commission, offering a way to compensate survivors without forcing them to resort to costly and prolonged civil action. ... Read More »

Israel says it will legalise West Bank settlement after rabbi shot dead in isolated outpost

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Israel says it plans to legalise an isolated West Bank outpost in response to the murder of one of its residents in a shooting last month. ABC Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his weekly Cabinet meeting his Government would legalise Havat Gilad to “allow the continuing of normal life there”. “Whoever thought that through the reprehensible murder of a resident of Havat Gilad, a father of six, that our spirit can be broken and we can be weakened, is making ... Read More »

Attacks on the judiciary by politicians weaken our democracy

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The separation of powers sounds like the stuffy, abstract domain of lawyers and academics. But it needn’t be and it shouldn’t be. Morry Bailes * Brisbane Times Because, the actual freedom of each and every one of us – in a very real and practical way – relies on the complete independence of the executive, the Parliament, and the judiciary. At its most basic level, the separation of powers simply means that if one of the powerful arms of our ... Read More »