Important piece in the Age on the coercive powers of regulators

I’m quoted a few times in this important piece in The Age today on the steady growth of regulatory agency coercive powers, and it mentions the result of some recent IPA research:

The question some people are asking is whether the results of the ACC investigation justify the use of coercive powers, such as denying someone the right to silence.

In the last parliamentary sitting year, another eight Commonwealth acts were passed that nullify that right, according to the Institute of Public Affairs …

Berg says the [Australian Crime Commission] report has been ”a bit of a wake-up call to a lot of people” and he hopes the “extraordinarily aggressive intrusion on the liberties of sportspeople” may be a turning point.

Might the spread of coercive powers now get more attention, or even be halted? “We know that powers do get rolled back, but first there has to be substantial public pressure on politicians to do so,” Berg says.

It’s a must read piece.

The IPA has been talking about this problem for many years. And as the IPA’s Simon Breheny pointed out when the ACC’s report into drugs and sport was released, the government’s proposed anti-doping legislation would strip away even more legal rights for athletes.



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