Law & Order

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency

From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things. Elizabeth Goitein The Atlantic In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump reached deep into his arsenal to try to deliver votes to Republicans. Most of his weapons were rhetorical, featuring a mix of lies and false inducements—claims that every congressional Democrat had signed on to an “open borders” bill (none had), that liberals were fomenting ... Read More »

What’s the Encryption Laws Got to do With the Social Sector?

Digital rights activists warn the implications of the federal government’s encryption bill will need to be closely watched by social sector organisations, who may be open to law enforcement agencies tapping their… Maggie Coggan PRObono Laws allowing police and intelligence agencies to intercept encrypted messages are expected to pass federal Parliament this week, with Labor and the Coalition government striking a deal on Tuesday… Labor’s approved changes include an ongoing committee process into 2019, and assurances that interception powers could ... Read More »

In her own words: Why a top criminal barrister became Informer 3838

Informer 3838 is a Victorian defence barrister who has represented a who’s who of Melbourne’s underworld, including major drug traffickers, murderers and Mafia figures. The Age She began providing information to police in mid-2003 and was a registered informer from 2005 to 2009, providing information about criminal associates and clients, some while she was simultaneously representing them in plea deals and court proceedings. She received a $2.88 million compensation payment from Victoria Police in 2010. Informer 3838 no longer has ... Read More »

‘Judges don’t get what journalists do’: Australia’s defamation law is having a chilling effect on the media

Few topics generate conversation around the proverbial office water-cooler like a celebrity defamation trial. Deborah Snow * The Age Classic contests over the years have included the 1982 case where architect Harry Seidler sued well-known cartoonist, Patrick Cook, over a brutal drawing Seidler thought impugned his artistic genius. Then there was the famous attempt by onetime 60 Minutes reporter Richard Carleton to challenge Media Watch over its claim that he’d plagiarised a story aired by the BBC. These were cases where the complainants fell well short ... Read More »

Chinese government orders fishing boats to behave during G-20 summit

Beijing has issued a notice to Chinese fishing boats operating overseas, warning them to avoid illegal activities during the G-20 summit in Argentina this weekend. Nyshka Chandran CNBC Asia-Pacific The country’s Agricultural Ministry released a statement this week asking Chinese offshore fishing enterprises to stay at least three nautical miles away from other countries’ marine exclusive economic zones. This distance will ensure that violations such as cross-border fishing don’t occur, it… These measures are designed to protect China’s image as ... Read More »

South Sudan region ‘sees huge increase in rape’, says charity

Dozens of women and girls have been subjected to rape and other violence over the past 10 days in a northern region of South Sudan, Doctors Without Borders has said. BBC A midwife at the charity said 125 women came to its clinic in Bentiu, more than in the whole of the previous 10 months. They included girls under 10, women over 65 and pregnant women, she added. The country has been ravaged by civil war for most of its ... Read More »

Prominent Chinese photographer taken by police in Uighur region: wife

Beijing: Lu Guang’s photos exposed the everyday realities of people on the margins of Chinese society: coal miners, drug addicts, HIV patients. WAtoday AP Now, the award-winning photographer is at the centre of his own stark story. He was taken away by state security agents three weeks ago for unknown reasons, Lu’s wife, Xu Xiaoli, told The Associated Press. Xu said Lu was traveling in Xinjiang on November 3 when she lost contact with him. He had connected with photographers in ... Read More »

Goodbye Grotius, Hello Putin

Russia’s provocations in the Kerch Strait aren’t just a challenge to Ukraine. Like Beijing in the South China Sea, Moscow is seeking to undermine international maritime law. James R. Holmes FP Sunday’s encounter between Russian and Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, the entryway to the Sea of Azov east of the Crimean peninsula, revived an age-old question in international politics: Can a coastal nation own the sea? International law says no; authoritarian states such as China and Russia say ... Read More »

Former archbishop Philip Wilson’s lawyers say forcing a child into a sex act wasn’t indecent assault in the 1970s

Lawyers appealing former archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson’s conviction for covering up child abuse have argued that convincing a child to perform a sex act did not constitute indecent assault in the 1970s. Ben Millington ABC Wilson was convicted in May of concealing the indecent assault of a boy by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher in the Hunter region of NSW. The court found that in 1976 the victim confided in Wilson that he had been sexually abused, yet Wilson failed ... Read More »

United Nations finds the deadliest place for women is their home

Washington: Last year, 238 women across the globe were killed every day. Six women were killed every hour, at least four of them at the hands of someone they knew. Deanna Paul The Sydney Morning Herald / The Washington Post According to the 2018 report on the killing of women and girls released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, about 87,000 were killed worldwide in 2017, 58 per cent of them by an intimate partner or relative. Many of ... Read More »

US ambassador clashes with Warsaw over media freedom

Government efforts to rein in critical media lead to a confrontation with Washington. By MICHAŁ BRONIATOWSKI Politico WARSAW — The U.S. ambassador to Poland tangled with the country’s right-wing government over an American-owned TV station that has fallen afoul of the ruling party. Polish media released a picture of a letter sent by Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (whose name was misspelled), warning the government to lay off efforts to prosecute journalists at the TVN24 news channel, owned by ... Read More »

Through confusion and panic, Ukraine digests what martial law will mean

Increased security around ports and stations already being reported, but consequences for ordinary Ukrainians are unclear Oliver Carroll Independent A day after the Ukrainian parliament voted to introduce martial law across 10 border regions, there was little clarity about what it would actually mean in practice. With parts of the government on different pages, and the introduction of measures that could cover most aspects of life, even family, some areas of the country bordered on panic mode. In the southern city of Odessa, there ... Read More »

Mexico: Forced Disappearance, an Ongoing Crime

As human rights lawyers, we generally don’t rank the crimes we document. But after interviewing the families of countless victims over the years, I’m convinced there’s no crime more cruel than the “disappearance” of a human being. Daniel Wilkinson HRW Published in El Universal In 2003, during one of my first research trips to Mexico, I interviewed women in Guerrero state who had lost family members during the country’s “dirty war” in the early 1970s. Their missing loved ones were presumed ... Read More »

Life Under Gang Rule in El Salvador

Over the last three years, gang violence has killed nearly 20,000 people in El Salvador, propelling tens of thousands northward in search of safety. ICG With U.S. help, the Salvadoran government should try to counter gangs with crime prevention as much as with law enforcement. Nearly 20,000 Salvadorans were killed from 2014 to 2017. That’s more violent deaths than in several countries that were at war during those years, such as Libya, Somalia and Ukraine. The murder rate – an ... Read More »

The case for a new corruption watchdog is strong, but questions remain

Ask some in the federal public service, and watchers in academia, and they’ll tell you the case for a new, overarching national anti-corruption watchdog is weak. Editorial The Canberra Times Their arguments can be sweeping and carelessly naive. Countries with less perceived corruption than Australia don’t have a national integrity commission, so nor should we. Never mind the fact many are smaller nations, and all carry different political systems, histories, spreads of wealth, economic bases and bureaucratic architecture. And forget ... Read More »

Switzerland votes against putting ‘Swiss Law First’

Swiss voters have rejected a plan to put Swiss court rulings ahead of international ones. However, they approved of allowing insurers to spy on customers and against a ban on the dehorning of cows. DW Some 66 percent of voters and all of the country’s 26 cantons voted on Sunday against the “Swiss law, not foreign judges” measure. The measure, backed by rightwing groups, called for domestic law to be placed above international law, a move that opponents claim would damage the ... Read More »