Category: Democracy (page 2 of 5)

Bye-bye By-Elections? Ritual and Rhythm and Voting out of Season

BY GRAEME ORR

By-elections have been a fixture of our political landscape since colonial times, and then some. They emerged, at Westminster, in the 16th century Reformation Parliament. By the 17th century Restoration they were common. Not least … Read the rest

Re Gallagher: Inconsistency, Imperatives and Irremediable Impediments

Anne Photos 003BY ANNE TWOMEY

The High Court’s judgment in Re Gallagher caused four Members of Parliament to resign and provoked further debate about the amendment of s 44 of the Constitution.  This culminated in a report by the Joint Standing Committee … Read the rest

Two questions about the powers of anti-corruption commissions

BY GRANT HOOLE

On the 28th of February 2018, little more than two weeks before South Australian voters went to the polls to elect a new Liberal government, the state’s Independent Commissioner Against Corruption released a blistering report on … Read the rest

Robo-Debt Illegality: A Failure of Rule of Law Protections?

BY TERRY CARNEY

Robo-debts lack any legal foundation

Nearly two years after social security’s popularly-called ‘robo-debts’ began to be raised without any adequate proofs, Australia’s much vaunted justice machinery has failed to expose the emperor’s lack of (legal) clothes.

The … Read the rest

“Exclusive Cognisance” and Cognitive Dissonance: Alley v Gillespie

BY TONY BLACKSHIELD

Section 44 of the Constitution – which provides that various categories of persons are incapable of being chosen to sit in the federal Parliament – has been the subject of extraordinary controversy since 2017. In this post, Read the rest

Religious Freedom: One Right Among Many

BY CAROLYN EVANS

Back in 2008, the then Government commissioned Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer Father Frank Brennan to chair a National Human Rights Consultation.

At the time, there was no consensus among the groups consulted about the … Read the rest

Indigenous people in gaol: what needs to change

BY MARIA NAWAZ AND ANNA CODY

It’s been thirty years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody brought national attention to the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice process on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The shocking … Read the rest

Senator Paterson’s Same Sex Marriage Bill: Incompatible with International Human Rights

BY ANJA HILKEMEIJER

 

Two days before the release of the result of the Same Sex Marriage Survey, Liberal Senator James Paterson made public a Bill that would allow anyone who has a strong belief in ‘traditional marriage’ to refuse … Read the rest

Council Amalgamations in NSW: A Study in How Not to Tackle Hard Policy

BY LYNSEY BLAYDEN

On 27 July 2017, after an 18-month long battle fought on various fronts, including through the courts, the NSW Premier, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian, announced that the government would not proceed with all remaining proposed amalgamations of … Read the rest

Seven Little Australians

BY TONY BLACKSHIELD

Senator Nick Xenophon is OK. Although it employs the word “Citizen”, his status as a “British Overseas Citizen” confers such limited rights and privileges that it does not amount to “citizenship”.

Senator Matt Canavan is OK because … Read the rest

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