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?
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.
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.
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.
The Northern Territory’s ‘paperless arrest’ powers are at odds with recommendations by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Northern Territory police powers to make 'paperless arrests' are completely contrary to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and now the inevitable has happened.
The investigation that brought down the NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, is one of several that has put the powers of ICAC in the spotlight.
ICAC has claimed some high-profile scalps, prompting some claims that the watchdog is out of control. Yet our new research shows 99% of complaints don't proceed to a formal investigation.
The High Court has upheld a NSW Court of Appeal decision that ICAC had no power to investigate Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen.
The High Court has decided ICAC did not have the power to investigate a NSW Crown prosecutor, so the commission will have to review investigations involving the conduct of private individuals.
Three of the seven seats in the High Court of Australia will soon be filled by women judges.
Now that women will make up 40% of High Court judges come June 2015, is gender now irrelevant? Hardly. Women have made up slightly less than 10% of all High Court judges in the court’s history.
The constitutional status, rights and obligations of Australian citizens are by no means clear, despite recent legislative reforms.
Australia's Constitution contains few constitutional rights or protections, and most of those that do exist are not predicated on citizenship.
Today FM faces enforcement action by ACMA after a long-running legal challenge to the media regulator’s powers ended in defeat for the broadcaster.
After a High Court win over Today FM, ACMA is likely to be able to deal more swiftly with this kind of case – and with less risk of incurring large legal bills.
NSW deputy senior Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, SC, has challenged ICAC’s power to investigate her alleged conduct.
ICAC argues that the alleged conduct of Margaret Cunneen and her son amounted to perversion of the course of justice.
The High Court decision on 157 asylum seekers detained at sea in 2014 – as well as recent legislative changes – raises concerns about the rights of asylum seekers.
On Wednesday, the High Court handed down an important judgment on the legality of the interception of asylum seeker vessels and the detention of those onboard on the high seas. It ruled, by a 4:3 majority…
Man Haron Monis was a madman with a persecution complex, but his frustration with the legal system wasn’t without justification.
This week’s hostage tragedy in Sydney’s Lindt Cafe will cast a long shadow. It will force us to rethink our readiness for emergencies and the adequacy of our criminal justice system. There has already…
Should Australia’s High Court judges be representative of the community that their rulings affect? Should politics play a part?
Late last week, the federal government appointed Geoffrey Nettle, a Victorian Court of Appeal judge, to the High Court to replace retiring justice Susan Crennan. Nettle is an excellent lawyer and his appointment…
In a 6:1 decision, the High Court upheld the validity of two offences created under Queensland’s anti-bikie measures.
Last Friday, the High Court handed down its decision in a constitutional challenge to Queensland’s controversial suite of anti-bikie laws. This decision is as interesting for what it does not decide as…
The Abbott government’s Emissions Reduction Fund could be vulnerable to a future constitutional challenge in the wake of recent High Court decisions.
Late last week, the Senate passed the Abbott government’s controversial A$2.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund, the centrepiece of its Direct Action Plan to combat climate change. Its passage has been…
NSW consorting laws mean a group of dog owners who regularly meet at Sydney’s Leichhardt Pioneers Memorial Park might want to run criminal record checks on anyone joining their social gathering.
Next time you strike up a conversation at your local coffee shop, have a chat in the pub after work, or have a natter with fellow dog lovers as you follow your pooch around the park, you may want to get…
Australia’s judiciary has emerged as a political and activist institution, frustrating the militarised strategies of the Abbott government in asylum policy.
The full bench of the High Court will hear the case of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers currently on an Australian customs vessel over two days, starting on August 5. But when the High Court issued an injunction…