Applications from trade unions failed to convince Dyson Heydon to disqualify himself as royal commissioner.
Dyson Heydon didn't accept that merely agreeing to give the Sir Garfield Barwick lecture could create an appearance of bias. Judges and royal commissioners are allowed to have political views, he said.
Dyson Heydon prided himself throughout his judicial career on the robust independence and intellectual integrity he brought to the role.
How has a former judge with an avowed commitment to judicial independence and probity found himself at the centre of a very public controversy over his own impartiality?
Dyson Heydon is facing a push to remove him as royal commissioner investigating trade union corruption.
Judges and other officials – such as tribunal members and royal commissioners – must not only be impartial, they must also appear to be impartial.
Questions are being asked about why Man Haron Monis was free on bail, but a witch-hunt is unlikely to improve the process of deciding when to keep an accused person in custody.
The spotlight is on a 2013 decision to grant bail to Man Haron Monis, the man responsible for the Lindt Cafe siege a year later. It must be hoped risk-averse politicians can avoid knee-jerk responses.
The message that terrorism is exceptional and egregious will be compromised if the current citizenship revocation bill becomes law.
Multiple concerns have been raised about the citizenship-stripping bill's inattention to human rights, its differential impact upon dual and sole nationals, and its potential application to persons who commit relatively minor crimes.
Australia’s method of appointing judges to its highest courts is opaque and informal.
It is no criticism of Australia’s judiciary to say that it would be preferable, both for them and the public, if they took office after a more transparent process.
What options is Australia left with for same-sex marriage rights?
Tony Abbott raised several possibilities on Australia's road to achieving same-sex marriage. But the only way Australia will get there is through parliament.
The Law Reform Commission has likely given George Brandis much more than he was expecting in the review of rights-limiting laws that he asked for.
The federal government has to be on the back foot after a Law Reform Commission report identified that It has been the champion of many rights-limiting laws.
The Australian policing response to bikie gangs is one–dimensional, with an enforcement focus placed above all else.
How can we judge success in Australia's crackdown on bikie gang? And what lessons can we take away from this type of law enforcement campaign?
Joe Hockey’s successful defamation case against Fairfax Media raises questions about the extent to which politicians should be able to sue in relation to publications about their public conduct.
Hockey v Fairfax illustrates that recent legal and technological developments still pose challenges for defamation law, which has not been reformed to keep pace with these changes.
Lawyers and asylum seeker advocates are concerned that the Border Force Act will have a ‘chilling effect’ on whistleblowers working in detention centres.
The Australia Border Force Act further entrenches the culture of secrecy around our asylum seeker policy at the cost of open and transparent government. That is something we should be worried about.
Picking a fight with a media company should not be a politician’s priority.
The elephant in the room in the just-concluded defamation case between Joe Hockey and Fairfax Media was the actual story being attacked. Media organisations ought to be able to instigate the debate without fear of reprisals by litigious politicians.
Karen Nettleton, whose daughter and grandchildren are currently in Syria, has a made a public plea for her family to be allowed to return to Australia.
Whatever we think of the family of foreign fighter Khaled Sharrouf or their circumstances, they enjoy the right to return on the same footing as every other Australian citizen.
The government’s bill introduces three means for revoking a dual national’s Australian citizenship under amendments to the Australian Citizenship Act.
Should the bill be enacted in its current form, Australian citizenship will be able to be stripped from dual nationals by bureaucratic determination for conduct that is defined with reference to the criminal law.
Australia has been reluctant to treat Islamic State as a sovereign entity under international law.
In its rush to deny overseas fighters their Australian citizenship, the government must ensure it doesn't end up endorsing the very thing it wants to repudiate.
South Australia’s proposed anti-bikie laws criminalise the wearing of anything that indicates association with a declared ‘criminal organisation’ on licensed premises.
While South Australia's proposed anti-bikie laws may be constitutional, there are clear reasons why introducing them is at best premature – and at worst a very bad idea.
A crew of people smugglers have alleged that an Australian official paid them to return a boatload of asylum seekers to Indonesia.
If Australian officials did pay off people smugglers, has the government effectively joined the people smuggling trade? Has it broken any laws?
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton will have the sole power to strip dual nationals of their Australia citizenship if they are believed to be involved in terrorist activities.
Simply having judicial review for the contentious power to strip citizenship from dual nationals suspected of involvement with terrorism – without independent merits review – is far from reasonable.
Discussing the rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship is pointless without more information on the nature and justification of what is proposed.
Most of the government's discussion paper is devoted to framing citizenship in a way that is conducive to its proposal to strip dual nationals involved in terrorist activities of their citizenship.
Bill Shorten has introduced a bill into parliament to amend the Marriage Act and allow same-sex marriage in Australia.
The legislative reform required to allow same-sex marriage is not complicated. There is relative consensus as to how this can be achieved.