Australian law

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George Brandis says the government will adopt the proposed changes to anti-terror laws that criminalise disclosure. AAP/Lukas Coch

Despite changes, terror law will still curb press freedom

Until a public interest exemption is included in Section 35P, the offence will continue to impact press freedom and have a chilling effect on media organisations’ ability to report on ASIO’s activities.
Coalition senator Eric Abetz claims he and other Liberal MPs do not have to respect the result of a coming plebiscite on same-sex marriage. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Coalition tensions expose the flaws of the same-sex marriage plebiscite

It is easy to envisage a number of arguments that MPs might use in an attempt to justify ignoring the result of a same-sex marriage plebiscite and voting contrary to its result.
The Law Council of Australia has called for the end of mandatory sentencing, so is it time to put a stop to this ineffective and disproportionate system? Dean Lewis/AAP

Mandatory sentencing leads to unjust, unfair outcomes – it doesn’t make us safe

As the Law Council of Australia calls for the end of mandatory sentencing, it might be time for the Australian government to evaluate and resolve the troubles of this problematic system.
State leaders endorsed a plan at COAG last week that would see some terrorists jailed indefinitely. AAP/David Moir

The government still needs to demonstrate that indefinite detention for terrorists is necessary

Detaining persons convicted of terrorist offences for lengthy periods after they have served their time could risk radicalising a section of the community who see the measure as unjust.
The government’s citizenship-stripping bill passed on the final parliamentary sitting day of 2015. AAP/Dan Peled

New laws make loss of citizenship a counter-terrorism tool

If we are content to sanction, disapprove and respond to sole nationals committing terror-related offences without revoking their citizenship, why is revocation necessary for dual nationals?
Gough Whitlam, pictured here in 2008, looks at the original letter that dismissed him from office in 1975. AAP/Alan Porritt

Archive records shed new light on UK role in Whitlam’s dismissal

Sir John Kerr probably made his own decision to dismiss the Whitlam government much earlier than he acknowledged publicly while alive – but he came to this conclusion in discussion with others.
Amnesty International alleges breaches of law on transnational organised crime and human rights grounds in relation to Australia’s anti-people smuggling activities. AAP/Scott Fisher

Amnesty accuses Australia of violating international law – but any prosecutions are unlikely

Amnesty International believes its evidence shows that Australia organised or directed the crew of an asylum seeker boat to commit the crime of people smuggling into Indonesia.
How could Maurice Blackburn prove that poker machine gamblers might be misled by the ‘losses disguised as wins’ technique? AAP/Paul Jeffers

Poker machines and the law: when is a win not a win?

Law firm Maurice Blackburn that plans to use Australian consumer law to argue that poker machine operators are engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct to trick gamblers into using poker machines.
Julie Bishop was a particularly strong advocate in urging Indonesia to spare the lives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. AAP/Mick Tsikas

What more can Australia do to end the death penalty worldwide?

Beyond general expressions of “opposition” to capital punishment, Australia did not emphasise specific human rights principles in its lobbying of Indonesia to spare Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

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