FIXATED FOLK

This week I learned something kind of crazy that I never knew before.A gentleman came to my office complaining that five police officers had recently materialised at his front door, without warning or invitation, wanting to conduct a psychiatric assessment on him. It all sounded more than a little bit bizarre to me but, since [...]

May 26th, 2017|Criminal Law, Human Rights, Opinion, Politics, Uncategorized|

FAIR GO AUSTRALIA

What goes around always seems to come around again. In February 1862 a familiar advertisement appeared in the employment columns of the London Times newspaper. It read simply "WANTED: A smart, active girl to do the general housework of a large family, one who can cook, clean plates, and get up fine linen, preferred. No [...]

January 25th, 2017|Human Rights, Migration, Opinion, Politics|

THE GENTEEL SILENCE

The complaint this week from would-be patrons of a popular Adelaide hotel that they were refused entry on racial grounds, has reopened some old wounds, and focused attention on sadly unfinished business. Claims by aboriginal woman Taylor Power-Smith and her indigenous friends Peter Miller Koncz and his wife Kahlia that they were turned away from [...]

December 9th, 2016|Human Rights, Opinion|

A MATTER OF RESTRAINT

Today’s news out of the Broncos Rugby League headquarters about an alleged “drunken incident” involving star centre James Roberts has let more than a few old spectres out of the closet. Newspapers today reported that an allegation Roberts verbally abused a barmaid in a drunken rage at the Normanby Hotel has been referred to the [...]

August 18th, 2016|Criminal Law, Human Rights|

A VERY BIG CALL

I was surprised to read this week former Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock's comment that it is unlikely proposed anti-terror laws would see an Australian deported before their appeal is heard. Some years back a client of mine was deported to the UK by ministerial direction pursuant to section 501 of the Immigration Act. He had [...]

June 12th, 2015|Criminal Law, Human Rights, Opinion|

Open Justice

Questions about racial inequality continue to simmer in the United States following last week's decision of a Staten Island Grand Jury not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo to stand trial for the killing of Eric Garner earlier this year. It's a decision which has even some of the country’s most staunchly conservative commentators, such as [...]

December 12th, 2014|Criminal Law, Human Rights, International, Opinion|

EXACTLY WHAT THEY TAKE

Frank Darabont’s 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption is an enduring classic of American cinema. Based on the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, it tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a young banker sentenced to life imprisonment in the tough Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, [...]

November 4th, 2014|Criminal Law, Human Rights, Opinion|

CARLY NYST ADDRESSES UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

On Friday last week my dear daughter Carly Nyst, a UK-based Australian lawyer who is currently the Legal Director of the human rights group Privacy International in London, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on the right to privacy in the digital age. As part of a panel which included Flavia Panasieri [...]

September 15th, 2014|Human Rights, International, Opinion, Privacy|

NEED FOR RESTRAINT

Earlier this week I was sitting in the public gallery of a Magistrates Court on the Sunshine Coast waiting for my client's matter to be called before the magistrate, when a downcast defendant was led into the dock with both hands locked together in a pair of impressive-looking wrist restraints. The police prosecutor proceeded to [...]

August 21st, 2014|Criminal Law, Human Rights, Opinion|

HEAVEN FORBID, MAYBE EVEN YOU AND ME

Last week I was invited by Amnesty International to join a panel of criminal justice experts discussing the human rights implications of Queensland's anti-bikie laws, indefinite detention regime, and other current and mooted legislative changes challenging many of our accepted notions of personal liberty. The discussion, which took place in the Banco Court of Brisbane's [...]

August 12th, 2014|Criminal Law, Human Rights, Opinion|