Articles on Law reform

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The crime of blasphemy is about protecting God and Christian doctrine from scurrilous commentary, and Christians from offence. Shutterstock

Blasphemy is still a crime in Australia – and it shouldn’t be

Laws against blasphemy privilege the feelings of Christians over other religious people, and have no place in a modern, inclusive society.
Businessman Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola are strong advocates of anti-slavery measures. AAP/Alan Porritt

Should Australia have a Modern Slavery Act?

Any proposed solution to the problem of modern slavery must engage with the business community and government policies on migration and migrant labour.
Adam Briggs and Trials from A.B. Original, winners of this year’s AMP Australian Music Prize, use swearing to make a political point in their music. Tracey Nearmy

How pop culture can (and should) change legal views on swearing

The pervasiveness of profanity in popular culture underscores the absurdity of punishing people for using words broadcast on our screens and heard in our music.
Giving a reference is protected, in defamation law, by the common-law defence of qualified privilege. shutterstock

Can you sue someone for giving you a bad reference?

In many cases, a reference will contain negative things about its subject. This is part of a reference’s design: the referee should give a full and frank assessment.
Daniel Andrews has announced reforms to Victoria’s bail laws following the events in Melbourne’s CBD last Friday. AAP/Angus Livingston

After Bourke St, Victoria should not rush in on bail reform

Australia needs to be very careful not to allow the bail system to become a political scapegoat at the hands of commentators exercising 20/20 hindsight.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced his government would be putting a bill to legalise assisted dying to parliament next year. JULIAN SMITH/AAP

Victoria’s model for assisted dying laws may be narrow enough to pass

Victoria stands a chance of becoming the first Australian jurisdiction in 20 years, and the first ever Australian state, to have an assisted dying law.

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