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August 25, 2015

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Constitutional recognition: two steps forward after one step back

By Melissa Castan The work towards constitutional reform and Indigenous recognition saw some optimistic developments last week. “It was the rumble we had to have,” said Noel Pearson of the meeting between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Indigenous leaders Patrick Dodson, Megan Davis, Kirstie Parker and himself. That meeting was a follow up to Abbott’s earlier […]

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August 17, 2015

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The human rights implications of smoking bans in prisons: some international cases

By Anita Mackay Australia’s two most populous States have recently implemented smoking bans in prisons (Victoria from 1 July and NSW from 10 August). In doing this they are joining the Northern Territory (where smoking was banned from 1 July 2013), Queensland (from 5 May 2014) and Risdon prison in Tasmania (from 31 January 2015). […]

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August 17, 2015

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A Constitutional Referendum: a Hail Mary for those opposed to Marriage Equality

A constitutional referendum: a ‘Hail Mary’ for those opposed to same-sex marriage Sarah Joseph, Monash University On Tuesday, August 11, prospects for same-sex marriage legislation in Australia in the near future were quashed when the governing Coalition partyroom voted against a conscience vote in favour of maintaining opposition to same-sex marriage. However, senior members of […]

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August 13, 2015

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With no Coalition free vote, where to now on the road to same-sex marriage?

By Paula Gerber The much-anticipated announcement of the government’s position on same-sex marriage raised more questions than it answered. By rejecting a free vote on same-sex marriage for Coalition MPs during this term of parliament, the government ensured that Australia will continue to be the only developed English-speaking country in the world where marriage is an […]

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August 4, 2015

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Another chimpanzee personhood claim fails, but there’s hope yet

By Joanna Kyriakakis Late last week, Judge Barbara Jaffe of the New York State Supreme Court declined to recognise the personhood of two chimpanzees, Hercules and Leo, for the purpose of a habeas corpus claim brought on their behalf. The chimpanzees are in the custody of Stony Brook University, where they are used for scientific research. […]

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July 31, 2015

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Joint Statement of Support for Adam Goodes

Today, a coalition of organisations has endorsed a statement in support of Sydney Swans player and former Australian of the Year Adam Goodes. The statement was prepared by the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, the Australian Human Rights Commission and ANTaR. The Castan Centre is proud to be one of the endorsing organisations. The full text […]

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July 27, 2015

3 Comments

Operation Sovereign Borders and the “Drownings Argument”

Operation Sovereign Borders, offshore detention and the ‘drownings argument’ Sarah Joseph, Monash University This article is based on Sarah Joseph’s presentation to the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law’s 2015 conference, delivered on July 24. On the day of the release of the Human Rights Commission’s report into children in detention, Prime Minister Tony Abbott […]

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June 29, 2015

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Out of the frying pan and into the fire: the plight of LGBTI refugees

By Paula Gerber and Jasmine Dawson Countries such as the US, Ireland, Finland and Scotland have recently joined the growing list of nations legalising same-sex marriage. But in many parts of the world the situation for LGBTI people is getting worse – rather than better. There are 77 countries that still criminalise homosexuality. The majority of these […]

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June 17, 2015

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New video explains the human right to vote

Today, the Castan Centre is launching a new video that uses humour interspersed with academic expertise to explain the human right to vote. For those who have been following along, this new video is the final episode of series two of “Have You Got That Right?”. The concept of the series is to answer important […]

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June 1, 2015

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No Andrew, it is not the responsibility of the LGBT community to help you hang on to your 1950s ideal of marriage

By Paula Gerber As a long time supporter of marriage equality and the rights of LGBT people, I generally find my views are diametrically opposed to those of conservative commentator Andrew Bolt. Imagine my surprise then to find Bolt citing my work to support his argument that the gay community must now adopt a conservative […]

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