Law & Order

Nauru blocking refugee evacuations a problem of Australia’s creation – judge

Commonwealth ‘created this situation’ by setting up regional processing deal with another sovereign state, Justice Debra Mortimer says Helen Davidson The Guardian Nauru’s attempts to block court-ordered medical evacuations of refugees is a problem of the Australian government’s creation, a federal court judge has said in a damning ruling. Justice Debra Mortimer made the comments early last week while ordering the urgent transfer of a young woman who was ill after trying to take her own life, after she was ... Read More »

Indonesian incest rape victim, 15, could be sent back to jail for having an abortion

An appeal against the acquittal of a 15-year-old rape victim who was charged with illegal abortion in Indonesia has been condemned by local activists, who say the move is a backward step for the protection of women. Tasha Wibawa ABC A regional prosecution office launched the appeal, saying it wanted the case to serve as a lesson to others considering aborting a pregnancy, the Jakarta Post reported. The girl — who fell pregnant after being raped by her brother — ... Read More »

Washington’s Farcical “Certifications” Enable the War Crimes of Allies

And violate U.S. law. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera ... Read More »

Strategic lawsuits against public participation – fight or flight?

Lawsuits that purport to limit public input are commonly used to silence critics and hinder freedom of expression, writes World Law Forum co-founders Joslyn Ma and Pratik Bakshi. By: Joslyn Ma and Pratik Bakshi Lawyers Weekly Imagine taking a flight and being terribly bothered by the poor customer service of the airline. You publish a blog against the airline and provide factual accounts of your experience. Soon after, the airline threatens to take legal action against you for alleged defamation ... Read More »

James Ricketson’s family elated following Australian filmmaker’s royal pardon

James Ricketson’s family has expressed joy and relief following the Australian filmmaker’s royal pardon after 15 months in a Cambodian prison on “outrageous” espionage charges. Fergus Hunter & Bevan Shields The Canberra Times Targeted by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s authoritarian government, Ricketson was sentenced in June to six years’ imprisonment. His relatives had feared the 69-year-old would not survive the harsh conditions. Ricketson has left his Phnom Penh jail and will soon be deported to Australia, possibly by Sunday. Fairfax ... Read More »

Al-Shabaab Five Years after Westgate: Still a Menace in East Africa

Al-Shabaab remains focused on recapturing power in Somalia, but it continues to plot attacks in Kenya and Tanzania – and perhaps in Uganda as well. ICG To counter the movement, East African states should eschew heavy-handed crackdowns and work instead to reduce its appeal to potential recruits. Executive Summary What’s happening? Five years after an attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, Al-Shabaab appears committed to striking targets across East Africa. Security crackdowns have blunted its capacity to stage regular assaults, but ... Read More »

Want to know your rights but only have 60 seconds?

London barrister hopes to educate people about the law with bitesize Youtube videos Owen Bowcott The Guardian Christian Weaver likes to keep it concise. His video series ‘TheLawin60Seconds’ is pioneering legal advice for an age of supposedly limited attention spans. The 24-year-old lawyer has begun teaching people about their rights in online talks to camera that aim to simplify the complexity of legislation into a few basic principles. He may not be the first person to deliver consumer-friendly lectures over the… Weaver’s first ... Read More »

Europe’s two-faced migration reality

Migration — like globalization — creates winners and losers. By MIGUEL OTERO-IGLESIAS Politico As European countries grapple with the backlash to immigration, it’s become clear that there’s a growing cognitive dissonance between the global elite and ordinary voters. Immigration has major benefits for both migrants and the host countries, but it’s important to remember that not everybody gains from the phenomenon. Like free trade and finance, migration creates winners and losers. If Europe’s political elite doesn’t come up with ways to compensate low-skilled ... Read More »

Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen refuses court-ordered mental health test after tweeting pictures of Isis executions

‘I’d like to see how the judge would try and force me do it’, says former presidential candidate Chris Baynes The Independent French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has refused to undergo psychiatric examination that was ordered by a court after she tweeted graphic pictures of Isis violence. The National Rally leader told a judge to “try and force” her to undergo mental health evaluation, requested as part of an investigation into the dissemination of violent images. Ms Le Pen posted three graphic images ... Read More »

Woolf civil justice reforms have failed, says former judge

Lord Woolf’s radical reforms to cut costs, delay and complexity in the civil justice system have failed, a former judge says today. The Times Charles Harris, QC, a retired senior circuit judge, says that the aim of the reforms in 1996 was to reduce the rules governing civil court procedures to make the system simpler and more user-friendly. Yet the so-called white book containing the procedure had increased by more than 60 per cent to 6,488 pages, writes Mr Harris ... Read More »

Scott Morrison rejects AMA plea to bring children from Nauru to Australia

Prime minister rebuffs letter as no confidence motion against Peter Dutton fails by one vote Scott Morrison has rebuffed a plea from the Australian Medical Association to change policy on Nauru, and bring families and children to Australia, saying he will not “put at risk any element of… Katharine Murphy The Guardian The prime minister told reporters on Thursday the government was already in the process of “getting families off Nauru” and had pursued a refugee resettlement deal with the… ... Read More »

Appalling cases of abuse in aged care facilities prompt royal commission

AGED care facilities are meant to provide care for vulnerable, elderly residents. But a spate of appalling cases of abuse in Australian nursing homes has prompted a royal commission. Megan Palin and AAP – news.com.au PRIME Minister Scott Morrison will announce a royal commission into the aged care sector following appalling cases of abuse of elderly people, it’s been reported. Mr Morrison will announce the inquiry on Sunday, with the decision triggered in part by the Oakden nursing home scandal ... Read More »

Flogging of worthless life insurance policies laid bare

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the flogging of life insurance is the domain of the hard seller. It is the ultimate “grudge” purchase. Who, after all, wants to think about their own demise, let alone prepare for it? John Collett The Age “It has ever been thus,” says Peter Thornhill, who had a long career in funds management and life insurance in Australia and overseas. “People don’t perceive life insurance as a necessity and, as a consequence, it has ... Read More »

Germany’s heated asylum debate has dark parallels to events 30 years ago

It was a moment that has defined Angel Merkel’s chancellorship of Germany ever since. In early September 2015, she allowed thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq to enter… Constantin Eckner The Conversation Merkel promised her people that Germany would be able to handle the growing influx of asylum seekers, but her decision provoked a… Since then, German politics has been largely dominated by that one controversial matter – asylum policy. In early September 2018, xenophobic riots rocked ... Read More »

Podcast: The necessity of Indigenous constitutional recognition

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 »

War on Waste: Is it legal to take the junk people leave on the kerb for council clean-up?

Your neighbour has just put an old leather lounge out on the kerb for council clean-up. Alle McMahon ABC It would go perfectly in your living room, and you’ve seen people pick up furniture from the street before, but are you legally allowed to take it? Turns out it depends on where you live. What are the rules around taking items left on the kerb? The laws around salvaging — or “saving” items that would otherwise be destined for landfill ... Read More »