Law & Order

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses

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The U.N. human rights chief on June 14 called for a major investigation into abuses in Kashmir, as his office released its first-ever report on violations committed by both India and Pakistan in the… GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry [COI] to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into… A COI is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for ... Read More »

Crime stats: Victoria sees another big drop in crime

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Police say forensic targeting of known criminals is helping to make some of Melbourne’s offending hot spots safer, as official figures show the annual crime rate down 9.5 per cent across the state, and some of the… Noel Towell & Craig Butt The Age The Crime Statistics Agency says the number of criminal incidents recorded by police in the year to March 31 this year was 380,150, down nearly 9 per cent from 416,925 incidents recorded in the… There were ... Read More »

Can airport authorities search your phone or computer?

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At no other time in history has airport security been so rigorous: travellers have come to expect pat downs, bag screenings and random drug detection tests. RN – By Alexandra Fisher and Damien Carrick for Law Report ABC But you might be caught by surprise if you’re asked to surrender your phone or laptop for Australian Border Force (ABF) authorities to search. Zaahir Edries, the president of the Muslim Legal Network of NSW, says the ABF’s powers are “relatively broad”. How ... Read More »

EU parliament urges Commission to act against Poland

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Five of the main political groups in the European Parliament urged the European Commission on June 14 to open infringement proceedings against Poland and to take it to the European Court of Justice to stop planned judicial reforms. STRASBOURG – Reuters Hurriyet The call by the leaders of the center-right European People’s Party, the centrist Liberals, the Socialists and Democrats, the Greens and the Unified European Left follows criticism from Commission Vice-president Frans Timmermans, who has accused Warsaw of breaking EU obligations. Frustration with Poland is focused on ... Read More »

Catholics defend the secrecy of confession amid pressure over child abuse royal commission

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Catholic Church is holding firm against calls to lift the veil of secrecy on confession amid calls from victims and advocates to force priests to report alleged abusers. By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered the Federal Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Canberra on Wednesday. Last year 122 recommendations were delivered to the government, including calls to throw out the sanctity of the confessional. In a statement ... Read More »

Real Estate Shopping on Someone Else’s Land

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At an informational session in the Israeli settlement of Alfei Menashe in the West Bank, a real estate agent engages in sales patter with house hunters for a new development of penthouses and 3- and 4-bedroom apartments: “breathtaking views,” “the highest standards of construction,” and… Sari Bashi HRW Two potential home-buyers, Israeli men in their 30s, flip through brochures showing high-rise buildings built on open land that had formed part of the neighboring Palestinian… “The view is spectacular,” says the ... Read More »

Liberals call on police to reopen Labor red shirts investigation

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The Coalition wants Victoria Police to renew its investigation into Labor’s 2014 red shirts rort and potentially pursue criminal charges against MPs named in the misuse of about $388,000 of public money. Adam Carey The Age Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton was grilled by Liberal MPs on Wednesday about why the police abandoned an investigation into Labor’s misuse of parliamentary funds to campaign in marginal seats in 2014. Mr Ashton said in parliament that police dropped the investigation in ... Read More »

Asylum seekers are now political pawns in a disharmonious EU

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The fate of the Aquarius, a Doctors without Borders rescue ship left stranded for hours in the Mediterranean carrying 629 African migrants, is a stark reminder of the EU’s ongoing stalemate on asylum policy. Ruvi Ziegler The Conversation The new Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, ordered ports to refuse docking to the ship, prompting a rhetorical revolt by several Italian mayors. Malta also refused docking, claiming that the rescue occurred in the Italian search and rescue zone. As the ship’s ... Read More »

Australia sexual abuse: PM accepts landmark inquiry proposals

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The Australian government has accepted almost all recommendations from a landmark inquiry into child sexual abuse as it prepares to deliver a national apology to victims. BBC The five-year inquiry found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in Australian institutions. PM Malcolm Turnbull said that his government would act on 104 of 122 official recommendations. The remaining 18 had not been ruled out, he… He will make the apology on 22 October. “The survivors have told their stories ... Read More »

Government response to child abuse royal commission is positive, but will need to go beyond an apology

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The federal government has announced it will establish a National Office for Child Safety and issue a formal apology as part of its response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Timothy W. Jones The Conversation In addition, every state and territory has committed to join the National Redress Scheme. Australia’s major churches and youth organisations have also joined the scheme. The timing of the announcement meets a commitment of the Council of Australian Governments to ... Read More »

Are courts the new front line for climate justice?

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Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation. In lieu of bold steps from governments and companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, climate justice advocates and lawyers have stepped up to force their hand through litigation. by Maysa Zorob and Marion Cadie | Business and Human Rights Resource Centre Thomson Reuters Foundation News Traditionally, legal cases have been brought against governments, but there is now a steep rise in climate lawsuits ... Read More »

The legality of off-shore detention

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In 2002 Australia, along with more than 80 other nations, acceded to the Rome statute by which the International Criminal Court was created.  The court is the first permanent court ever established with jurisdiction to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators and regardless of the place where the offences occurred. Julian Burnside John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations As part of the process of implementing the International Criminal Court ... Read More »

Vietnam cybersecurity law a devastating blow to freedom: Amnesty

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New law aims to prevent users from organising online for anti-state purposes and spreading false information. Al-Jazeera The passing of a new cybersecurity law by the Vietnamese parliament has led to criticism of its potential effect on freedom of speech and expression. Legislators said the new regulation, which will require tech companies to store data about Vietnamese users on local servers, will increase security in the country. But according to critics, this move could possibly stifle free speech for Vietnamese internet users ... Read More »

Special forces rookie ‘blooded’ by executing an unarmed man

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A Special Air Service Regiment trooper on his first deployment to Afghanistan was pressured to execute an elderly, unarmed detainee by fellow higher-ranking soldiers as part of a “blooding” ritual, according to defence insiders who were witnesses at the scene. Chris Masters & Nick McKenzie The Sydney Morning Herald And on the same mission, another man with a prosthetic leg was killed by machine-gun fire. His plastic leg was souvenired and later taken back to SAS headquarters in Perth to ... Read More »

Forced marriage convictions are welcome but for many victims stigma is still judge and jury

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In the four years since a change in the law regarding forced marriages in England and Wales, there have been two cases where parents have been convicted of forcing their daughters to marry by taking them out of the… Geetanjali Gangoli The Conversation One case, in Birmingham in May 2018, involved taking a daughter to Pakistan, the other – in Leeds, also in May 2018 – involved a couple luring their daughter to Bangladesh for a… These were the first ... Read More »

Australian officials spotted in mysterious Assange visit

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London: Australian government officials have paid a mysterious visit to Julian Assange in his Ecuadorian embassy refuge in London, in a sign there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate that has lasted almost six years. Nick Miller WAtoday Two officials from Australia’s High Commission were spotted leaving the embassy in Knightsbridge in west London on Thursday. It is the first time Australian consular officials have visited Assange at the embassy. They were accompanied by Assange’s lawyer Jennifer… Australian officials spotted… Read More »