Law & Order

Chagos Islands: UK refusal to hand back archipelago disregards international law and echoes era of colonialism

A nation’s military and geo-strategic interests cannot, under international law, prevail over the sovereign rights of other states. Elena Katselli The Conversation State sovereignty, self-determination and decolonisation are fundamental legal principles the UK should honour as it refuses, despite widespread international condemnation, to hand back control of the Chagos Islands in the… Indeed, Britain’s expressed policy that it will protect its interests at any cost, even at the expense of international law and fundamental human rights, has unwelcome echoes of colonialism and ... Read More »

Three good reasons to be grateful for whistleblowers

Australia’s new whistleblower protection legislation means many charities might need to change their approach to managing disclosures. PRObonoAustralia But some of us also might need to change how we think about whistleblowing, writes Oliver May. Australia has just passed new whistleblower protection legislation, with significant implications for many Australian organisations. This has led to interesting conversations with my clients about how best to respond to the legislation, and how to protect whistleblowers. But what is… Three good reasons… Read More »

Open Letter To UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

His Excellency António Guterres Secretary-General United Nations United Nations Secretariat New York, NY 10017 U.S.A. Re: Maritime Boundary Disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean: Crises and Opportunities Excellency: I write to request your urgent intervention in defusing a looming crisis directly affecting the vital interests of all coastal States in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as, indirectly, those of dozens of others in Europe, Asia and Africa. Specifically, your assistance is required to help resolve the inter-related maritime boundary disputes among the ... Read More »

Kim Jong Un Goes Bond Villain : Throws General In Piranha-Filled Pool

The general, not named by media sources, was reported to have been punished for plotting a coup. Alex Winston JPost North Korean leader Kim Jong Un borrowed an execution technique from a James Bond movie to rid himself of a top general, according to British media. In the James Bond film, ‘You Only Live Twice’, antagonist Ernst Stavro Blofeld famously removes any opposition by releasing a trapdoor over a piranha-filled pool, causing the unfortunate victim to fall to a gruesome ... Read More »

Sudan police try to quell civil disobedience campaign

Sudanese police fired warning shots June 9 to disperse protesters building roadblocks in the capital, as part of a civil disobedience campaign against the ruling generals following a bloody crackdown that left dozens dead. KHARTOUM- Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The campaign got underway nearly a week after the assault on demonstrators at a sit-in outside army headquarters, which followed talks breaking down between protest leaders and… Following the call for civil disobedience, protesters set about building roadblocks in Khartoum while markets ... Read More »

‘He is innocent’: Assange ally Ola Bini imprisoned in Ecuador takes case to UN

A close friend of Julian Assange was arrested in Ecuador in April and remains behind bars without charge. SBS Supporters of a Julian Assange ally who is imprisoned in Ecuador without charge have called his ongoing detention “illegal” and want the United Nations to investigate the case. Swedish national Ola Bini, 36, was arrested while trying to leave Ecuador for Japan on 11 April – the day the country withdrew its offer of asylum to Mr Assange, who had taken ... Read More »

Facial recognition tech is arsenic in the water of democracy, says Liberty

Human rights group calls on England and Wales to ban police use of AFR in public spaces Ian Sample The Guardian Automated facial recognition poses one of the greatest threats to individual freedom and should be banned from use in public spaces, according to the director of the campaign group Liberty. Martha Spurrier, a human rights lawyer, said the technology had such fundamental problems that, despite police enthusiasm for the equipment, its use on the streets should not be permitted. ... Read More »

Australia’s raids on journalists reflect a creeping surveillance state

This week, Australians woke up to the alarming realization that their government has been quietly promoting a creeping surveillance state at the expense of press freedom and democratic values. Emily Howie The Washington Post It should mark a moment of reckoning for the country and its entire approach to media and public transparency. On Wednesday, officers from the Australian Federal Police appeared at the Sydney headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s national broadcaster. Armed with a warrant over a 2017 ... Read More »

Russia fines ‘whale jail’ company White Whale

A Russian company that runs a so-called “whale jail” in the east of the country has been fined 28.1 million rubles ($433,000; £430,000). BBC White Whale is one of four firms holding killer and beluga whales in small enclosures on the Sea of Japan, which they say is legal. But a Vladivostok court on Friday ruled the company broke fishing rules. Cases against the other three companies are expected before the courts in the next week. Although Russia allows the ... Read More »

Sudan: Stopping a Spiral into Civil War

Sudan’s political transition is in great peril following the unprovoked killing of dozens of protesters. ICG The African Union has rightly suspended the country’s membership. Western and Gulf powers should take urgent steps to compel Sudan’s interim leaders to accept a civilian-led transitional administration.  On 3 June, Sudan’s security forces launched a bloody crackdown on unarmed protesters in Khartoum, clearing a sit-in outside the country’s military headquarters and bringing its political transition to a… The horrific rampage left dozens dead ... Read More »

‘Pendulum has swung too far’: Senator pushes for US-style press freedom protections

The Centre Alliance Party is drafting a bill to enshrine US-style press freedom protection in the constitution. By Rosemary Bolger, Amanda Copp SBS Key crossbench senators will push to amend the constitution to include a US-style press freedom protection in the wake of two unprecedented police raids targeting Australian journalists. Centre Alliance senators Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff will introduce legislation proposing an amendment similar to the First Amendment to the United States constitution when Parliament returns next month. “A ... Read More »

Why the raids on Australian media present a clear threat to democracy

The Australian Federal Police has this week conducted two high-profile raids on journalists who have exposed government secrets and their sources. Rebecca Ananian-Welsh The Conversation On Tuesday, seven AFP officers spent several hours searching News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home, her mobile phone and computer. The AFP linked the raid to “the alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret”. This stemmed from Smethurst’s 2018 article, which contained images of a “top secret” memo and reported that senior government officials were considering ... Read More »

Former judge says Mokbel has grounds for release, accuses police of criminal behaviour

A former judge now representing Tony Mokbel pro bono has accused Victoria Police of criminal behaviour and says the drug lord has grounds to be freed from prison. Tammy Mills The Age A cavalcade of defence lawyers representing the who’s who of Melbourne’s underworld appeared before the Lawyer X royal commission on Wednesday. The commission is investigating the conduct of the force and its prized informer, former gangland barrister turned supergrass Nicola Gobbo. Lawyers for Mokbel, drug traffickers Francesco… Former ... Read More »

One in six women in Australia are physically or sexually abused before they turn 15

A new report has shed light on statistics surrounding family, domestic and sexual violence – showing one in six women and one in nine men experienced physical or sexual abuse before the age of 15. Dubravka Voloder SBS Sydney woman Cynthia Huynh was still at primary school when she first experienced violence. “I spent my childhood immersed in abuse,” she told SBS News. What started out as discipline, she said, ended up as an excuse for being hit. “The violence, ... Read More »

The raid on the ABC shows we need a law to protect journalists and their sources

Parliament has passed a slew of national security laws that limit and even criminalise the fundamental work of the press Peter Greste The Guardian Recent raids by the Australian federal police on the News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst and the ABC are a serious threat to the most fundamental role that the media plays in a democracy. By definition, democracy is government by the people. Politicians act on behalf of those who employ them; that is, us Australian voters and ... Read More »

EU sued at International Criminal Court over Mediterranean migration policy – as more die at sea

In the same week that more migrant lives were lost at sea, the EU’s migration policy in the Mediterranean has been brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Maurice Stierl The Conversation It emerged on June 3 that the ICC had received a legal submission calling for the EU and some of its member states to face prosecution for enacting migration policies “intended to sacrifice the… The sharply worded submission was brought by international lawyers who have ... Read More »