Law & Order

Brisbane developers ‘don’t need to be concerned with native title’

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The recent Federal Court decision that native title no longer exists in Brisbane has significant implications for infrastructure and property developers, according to a native title expert. Tom Lodewyke  Lawyers Weekly The decision came in response to native title claims on behalf of the Turrbal and Yugara people, which together covered most of the Brisbane metropolitan area. Justice Jessup ruled in 2015 that the claimants could not prove an adequate connection to the land to hold native title. The Indigenous ... Read More »

Joshua Wong, the young face of Hong Kong’s democracy movement, jailed in ‘politically motivated’ case

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Hong Kong’s most prominent democracy activist Joshua Wong has been sentenced to six months in jail over a 2014 protest. 20-year-old Wong, who rose to prominence as the 17-year-old co-leader of the 2014 ‘umbrella’ mass protests in the city, was jailed alongside two other young activists — one a former member of Hong Kong’s legislative council. Bill Birtles ABC The trio had previously been given community service sentences for an unlawful assembly conviction relating to a protest at Hong Kong’s ... Read More »

Is liking something on Facebook ‘protected political speech’? It depends

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Australians are often surprised to learn that their Constitution contains no right to free speech. Even the right to political speech, which is constitutionally implied, is increasingly complicated by new online platforms where people can express their views. Melissa Castan  The Conversation The Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) recent guidance for public servants shone a spotlight on the issue. It advises employees they could be in breach of their code of conduct for liking or sharing posts on Facebook that are critical of the ... Read More »

No Viking funerals: Choosing what happens to my body when I die limited by law

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If you’re looking to leave this world in a flaming ship pushed out to sea or being left to the vultures in a sky burial, you will need to think again. Mark Rigby ABC In the Northern Territory, like all other Australian states and territories, there are only two ways a body can be legally disposed of — burial or cremation. While the definition of cremation is to consume by fire, you cannot have a funeral pyre erected in the ... Read More »

Peter Dutton abandons detention centre secrecy rules amid High Court challenge

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Exclusive The Turnbull government has quietly abandoned strict secrecy provisions governing Australia’s immigration detention system, in a major victory for refugee advocates who challenged the laws in the High… Adam Gartrell The Age Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has put forward amendments to the 2015 Australian Border Force Act that will effectively strip out rules that threatened detention centre workers – including teachers, lawyers and social workers – with two years in prison if they spoke out about neglect or… The ... Read More »

Look At What’s Happening In America In 2017

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The Charlottesville rally is just another example of the deep-rooted, bone-chilling hatred in this country. Jenna Amatulli HuffPost In the past few days, thousands of “alt-right” members and white supremacists have taken over Charlottesville, Virginia, for a “Unite The Right” rally. The rally has also attracted plenty of counter-protesters, namely Antifa ― a fringe left radical group that stands for “Anti-fascism.” Violence and chaos has since ensued on both sides. The governor declared a state of emergency early Saturday morning.  ... Read More »

Trump fails to condemn white supremacists in statement on Charlottesville violence

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The president instead called out in what he deemed the strongest possible terms ‘this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.’ Nancy Cook Politico President Donald Trump declined to condemn the violent actions and protests of white supremacists on Saturday, who had converged on Charlottesville, Va., en masse to protest the removal of a statue of a Confederate general. The clashes killed at least one person and injured a number of others. Instead, Trump called out in what he ... Read More »

Nobel laureates urge Saudi king to halt 14 executions

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ten Nobel Peace Prize winners are appealing to Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince to show mercy and halt the executions of 14 young people sentenced to death for participating in protests in… EDITH M. LEDERER The Associated Press The Seattle Times In a letter released Friday they said staying the executions would “correct a great injustice.” The laureates said the 14 were convicted and sentenced in a mass trial “based on the actions of the ... Read More »

How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms

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Australia’s record of human rights protection in areas such as Indigenous people, asylum seekers and freedom of speech are perennial topics of debate. The focus of these discussions is now shifting to whether Australia can take steps to establish a stronger legal framework for protecting human rights. How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms George Williams Daniel Reynolds The Conversation One reason for this is Australia is in the final stages of defending its record in a ... Read More »

Inquiry into The Status of the Human Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief

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Time did not permit Liberty Victoria to address in full all aspects of the Terms of Reference for this Inquiry. Liberty Victoria Submitted To: Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Our concerns therefore centred on “3 — The relationship between the freedom of religion or belief and other human rights, and the implications of constraints on the freedom of religion or belief for the enjoyment of other universal human rights” (ToR 3). In particular we considered the balancing of freedom ... Read More »

Anti-Semitic Academics: Where is the Outrage Against Turkey?

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In Turkey, academics are currently at the mercy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who demands their compliance and threatens dissenters. A.J. Caschetta Gatestone Institute After last July’s failed coup (for which Erdogan blamed an American scholar), a series of emergency decrees have specifically targeted Turkish academia. One would think this assault would raise ire from the ivory towers, but as Turkey slides deeper into totalitarianism, academia yawns. The failure of many professors to stand up vigorously and publicly for what they ... Read More »

Australian mining company in prosecution spotlight for role in Congo massacre

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The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has urged the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to re-open the criminal investigation into the role an Australian company, Anvil Mining, played in a massacre of 70… HRLC In the landmark ruling, the African Commission found the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo responsible for the 2004 massacre in the southeast of the country, but it also highlighted Anvil Mining’s role in supplying logistical support to the… Anvil Mining operated a ... Read More »

Isis: UN study finds foreign fighters in Syria ‘lack basic understanding of Islam’

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Research shows economic factors and ‘lack of meaning’ in life makes warzone attractive Lizzie Dearden Independent Young men who leave their homes to fight for terrorist groups in Syria mainly come from disadvantaged backgrounds, have low levels of education and “lack any basic understanding of the true meaning of jihad or even the Islamic faith”, according to a new report. A study for the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism found that despite claiming to protect Muslims, most of the returned fighters were “novices” ... Read More »

‘Joint venture with China on South China Sea violates Charter’

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MANILA, Philippines – A joint venture with China in the West Philippine Sea is a violation of the Constitution, according to a senior magistrate of the Supreme Court (SC). The Philippine Star “The language of the Constitution is explicit, that the exclusive economic zone is part of the national territory and that it should be for the enjoyment and exploitation exclusively of Filipinos… We cannot enter into joint development within the EEZ,” Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said in a ... Read More »

Pakistan could be moving toward new era of accountability

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There was nearly complete silence in Pakistan on Friday morning, as it was Judgment Day, not only for Nawaz Sharif, but also for his dynasty. TUBA ATHAR HASNAIN Asia Times Pakistanis around the world were glued to their television screens, and this time it was not because their very own Shahid Afridi was holding the bat on the cricket pitch to hit a six, but instead, the sitting prime minister was doing the batting. As soon as the clock ticked to 12:10, the ... Read More »

How many people are killed by terrorist attacks in the UK?

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London has been rocked by a fourth terror attack in three months, when a man drove a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park. Ashley Kirk The Telegraph Prime Minister Theresa May has chaired a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee in response to the attack, condemning the “terrible incident”. How many people… Read More »