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Rule of law

Retrospectivity must be rejected

Retrospective law is an affront to a very basic principle of the rule of law: that any legal obligations under which we might operate should be known to us as we conduct our lives.

As the chief law officer of the Commonwealth, Attorney-General George Brandis knows this. And it is incumbent upon him to reject Continue Reading →

Anti-piracy measures a threat to rule of law and free speech

My ABC Drum column this week is on the Abbott government’s floated proposals to deal with online copyright infringement (‘piracy’), and why they breach fundamental rule of law principles and freedom of speech:

One of the quickest ways for a company to cut costs is outsourcing. Even better when you can have the Government do your outsourcing for you.

This is the basic political logic behind the upcoming crackdown on online copyright infringement.

For the last year George Brandis has been hinting at a legislative crackdown on copyright infringement …

Here’s what we know. There are two proposals being considered, “graduated response” and a website blocking scheme.

Read it all here.

Freedoms Inquiry provides a call to arms

In The Australian today, I’ve welcomed Senator George Brandis’ Freedoms Inquiry as an important first step on the path to restoring our liberty:

The freedoms inquiry presents the Abbott government with a real opportunity to wind back restrictions on civil liberties and fundamental legal rights.

Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis has asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to Continue Reading →