We've all heard the news of protesters demonstrating in the streets of Hong Kong, decrying the proposed amendments to that city's extradition laws with China. We've seen the television news footage of university students, right here in Australia, pushing and shoving each other over whether Hong Kong citizens should be tried in the Communist mainland. [...]

August 22nd, 2019|Criminal Law, Human Rights, International|


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|


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|


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|


“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|


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|


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 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|


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|


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|