Law & Order

Turkey Airstrikes Target Iraqi Christian Villages; Activists Call for War Crimes Investigation

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The Turkish military launched airstrikes targeting Iraqi Christian villages in northern Iraq, a rights group warned. Samuel Smith The Christian Post Local sources have told International Christian Concern, a U.S.-based persecution watchdog, that seven predominantly Christian villages were targeted by Turkish airstrikes last month. September saw an increase in Turkish airstrikes in the north of Iraq. “Turkey attempts to justify these airstrikes by claiming that these villages support or have a PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) presence,” an ICC report reads. “Turkey is ... Read More »

Australia has become a human rights backwater

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The litmus test for human rights in Australia is how it treats the most disadvantaged within the community, and on this measure, Australia has become a backwater, according to two leading legal… Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly Speaking to Lawyers Weekly ahead of the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights and National Justice Project Dinner, being held in Sydney on Friday 26 October, UTS law professor and director of research at… “We have failed to integrate a human rights framework into our legal system ... Read More »

New terror laws: Suspects, children to be locked up without a warrant

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New counter-terrorism laws that enable the government to lock up children as young as 14 were enshrined on Monday. Chloe Booker The Age The laws allow police to detain terror suspects without a court order or a warrant for up to four days. Children aged 14 or above may be held for up to 36 hours. Suspects, including those who have never been convicted of a terrorism offence, will now be unlikely to be granted bail or parole. Meanwhile, police ... Read More »

Fracking protesters’ ‘absurdly harsh’ jail sentences spark calls for judicial review backed by hundreds of scientists

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Exclusive Environmental protestors the first to receive prison terms since 1932 Peak District mass protest which established “right to roam”, solicitors say Alex Matthews-King Independent More than 200 academics have signed a letter calling for a judicial review of “absurdly harsh” prison sentences handed to three fracking protesters on Wednesday. An open letter, started by staff at the University of Sussex says that the jail terms of between 15 and 16 months for halting a convoy of lorries carrying shale drilling equipment “set a dangerous precedent”. Simon Roscoe Blevins, ... Read More »

Australia must demand Myanmar war crimes tribunal, says investigator

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The Morrison government should use its regional clout to demand a peacekeeping mission and war crimes tribunal in response to humanitarian crimes in Myanmar, says a top Australian investigator. Nick McKenzie & Nicole Precel The Age Michael Stefanovic, an Australian seconded to the US State Department’s Myanmar inquiry, said he was horrified by the evidence he had gathered. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is grappling whether to use the term genocide to describe the Myanmar military’s attack on members ... Read More »

Forget the pledges to act – London is still a haven for dirty Russian money

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After Salisbury, the Tories said we would get tough on rich Russians. But billionaires are still coming and sanctions are nowhere to be seen. Oliver Bullough The Guardian Britain, we’re told, has a new policy on dirty Russian money. We are finally pulling the red carpet from under the feet of the rich Russians who have turned London into a private members’ club. This new “hostile environment” was trailed in February after the security minister, Ben Wallace, watched McMafia – ... Read More »

Greedy banks and inept regulators but not much more

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It began so well. The banks were lashed as greedy institutions focussed on gouging the living – and the dead – and anything else they could squeeze a dollar out of in the pursuit of targets and bonuses. Adele Ferguson Brisbane Times It then went on to the regulators, in particular the corporate regulator, which it eviscerated for its lack of teeth and inability to do its job and enforce the law. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) was ... Read More »

Royal Commission shows banks have behaved appallingly, but we’ve helped them do it

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The term deposit has matured. Initial scepticism over the timing, scope, and overall need for a royal commission into financial services has transformed into deep concern about the culture and practices in one of our most important industries. Andrew Grant The Conversation Malcolm Turnbull, the (perhaps not coincidentally) ex-prime minister, admitted it had been a “political mistake” to delay the royal commission by nearly two years. None of the major banks have escaped the Commission’s ire. Perhaps that’s because none ... Read More »

Why US top court is so much more political than UK’s

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The composition of the US Supreme Court is about to change and the nomination of its potential new member, by some accounts unlike any other, has revived discussions about how political the selection is. BBC The debate is unlike any the UK has when justices at the Supreme Court are replaced, as a different appointment system means their political views are rarely publicly known and, according to experts, do… US: A president’s choice In the US, the nine-member Supreme Court ... Read More »

Escalating Global Effort for Safe, Legal Abortion

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A Day to Highlight Women’s Struggle Margaret Wurth HRW Today is International Safe Abortion Day. Today, and every day, women and girls in countries where access to abortion is heavily restricted, or banned, risk their lives trying to end unwanted pregnancies. But the fight around the world for access to safe and legal abortion is escalating. The day has particular significance this year for the United States, as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the ... Read More »

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Regional Elections Test a Brittle Status Quo

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The fallout continues to settle after Iraqi Kurdistan’s fraught independence referendum one year ago. Maria Fantappie ICG In this Q&A, our Iraq Senior Adviser Maria Fantappie surveys the political landscape ahead of the first regional legislative elections since the plebiscite. What’s at stake in the 30 September elections? Voters in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will choose the 111 members of the Kurdistan National Assembly, in the fourth election since the body was founded in 1992 and the… At stake, ... Read More »

On the Supreme Court, difficult nominations have led to historical injustices

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Far from being unusual, the hurried and partisan Supreme Court confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh mirrors several notable examples of similarly politicized confirmations in U.S. history. Calvin Schermerhorn The Conversation Those conflicts, which ultimately placed justices on the court, yielded some of the most damaging civil rights decisions in our nation’s history. Unlike any other branch of government, Supreme Court justices do not have to face voters at the polls. They have no term limits. Yet the high court is ... Read More »

Canada MPs vote to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of honorary citizenship

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Canadian MPs have voted unanimously to revoke the honorary citizenship of Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. BBC Passing the motion was a response to her failure to stop the persecution of the Rohingya minority in her country. Ms Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts to bring democracy to Myanmar – also known as Burma – which was then under military rule. A UN report last month said Myanmar military leaders must be investigated ... Read More »

Assange steps down as editor of Wikileaks

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Julian Assange has stepped down as editor of WikiLeaks as he continues to be denied access to the internet and other forms of communications. Alan Jones, Associated Press Herald Sun Assange, who has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over six years, will continue as publisher. The Ecuador Government decided over six months ago to cut off his communications and limit visits to members of his legal team. He will be replaced as editor by Kristinn Hrafnsson, ... Read More »

Why abortion should not be a crime

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As a doctor who has worked in the field of reproductive healthcare for many years, I could list so many evidence-based and peer-researched studies and reasons on why abortion should be decriminalised. Philip Goldstone Brisbane Times But the most profound and overriding reason for me is to end the shame and stigma that we heap onto women accessing this health service each and every day. Shame and stigma is something that I am familiar with; I have worked in the ... Read More »

Kavanaugh hearing: Supreme Court nominee insists on his innocence, calls process ‘national disgrace’

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Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh angrily denied allegations of sexual misconduct and called his confirmation process a “national disgrace” during testimony before a Senate committee Thursday. By Seung Min Kim , Ann E. Marimow , Mike DeBonis and Elise Viebeck The Washington Post One of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, spoke and answered questions earlier in the day. She said she was “one hundred percent” certain that President Trump’s nominee was the man who attacked her when she was… 8:18 p.m.: Committee ... Read More »