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.
Tony Abbott risks having same-sex marriage used against him electorally – just as his Liberal Party once tried to use it against Labor.
As opposition leader Bill Shorten prepares to introduce an amendment on Monday to the Marriage Act to legalise same-sex marriage, why has Australia lagged so far behind?
Differences in personal resources and capabilities mean that the most vulnerable Australians find the legal system inaccessible.
The demand for government-funded legal services is large and growing. Simply "not cutting" these services does the community a grave disservice.
Research has shown that when sex work is illegal, street sex workers who are victims of sexual assault are reluctant to report it to police.
There is a non-binding precedent in Victoria that allows judges to consider the victim's sexual experience when passing sentence on a sex offender – but only when the "victim is a prostitute".
Material in a new media law textbook was manually redacted with a black felt pen after it inadvertently breached a suppression order.
It is hard to inquire about a suppression order you do not know exists because discussion of its existence and contents has been suppressed.
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.
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.
2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty has helped highlight the prevalence of domestic violence in the community.
Domestic violence has been an agenda item for some time. It is not something that society, nor governments, have recently discovered.
Australian David Hicks has had his conviction for providing material support to terrorist organisations overturned in the US.
Based on the Abbott government’s stance to date, there seems little chance of David Hicks receiving an effective remedy – at least not voluntarily
The captain of the Costa Concordia has been sentenced to 16 years' jail after the ship ran aground off the coast of Italy two years ago.
Late last week, an Italian court sentenced the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, Francesco Schettino, to 16 years' jail after finding him guilty of multiple charges of manslaughter. On January…