A VERY GOOD START

The late great Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison for his opposition to the apartheid system of racial segregation in South Africa. When he was finally released from custody in 1990, he famously said "To deny a person their human rights is to challenge their very humanity." Such sentiments are sometimes cynically discounted as [...]

November 16th, 2018|Human Rights, Politics|

UBER CRITICAL

As the bartender gave me the nod for last drinks, I reached for my mobile. It was well and truly time to call it a night, and I was in no state to drive. So I pulled up Uber on my phone and scanned for the nearest driver. The first one that bounced up showed [...]

February 9th, 2018|Human Rights, Opinion, Technology|

CELEBRATION

On the weekend our parks were full of Australia Day revellers. Most, I expect, were celebrating their deep affection and appreciation of their nation of birth or adoption, the great natural gifts of a lucky country and its lucky people, the pride and the delight of being part of an essentially liberal, inclusive, and egalitarian [...]

January 30th, 2018|Human Rights, Opinion|

THE GREAT DISSENTER

“I am the result of a loving upbringing in a peaceful country, with wonderful parents and siblings, a very long-term relationship, stability, support – but a feeling that life isn't always just and that there is injustice for people and we should do something about it.” That is a quote from the eminent Australian jurist [...]

September 29th, 2017|Human Rights, Opinion, Politics|

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|

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|