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October 17, 2014

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Expunging convictions for gay sex: an old wrong is finally righted

By Paula Gerber Almost two years ago, The Conversation published an article, “Wiping the slate clean: historic convictions for gay sex must be expunged”. The article discussed the British government’s moves to remove convictions for gay sex that were recorded before the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. This week, the Victorian parliament passed the […]

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October 1, 2014

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Explainer: Does Cambodia refugee deal comply with the convention?

No other country in the developed world has signed an agreement with a developing nation for the resettlement of recognised refugees.

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September 16, 2014

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Open letter to the Attorney-General regarding the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture

The following is an open letter to the Commonwealth Attorney-General, The Hon. George Brandis QC, signed by 64 organisations including the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law. The letter is dated 15 September 2014. Dear Attorney, Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  We, the undersigned […]

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September 15, 2014

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The High Court reminds us that immigration detention is not simply at the government’s pleasure

By Patrick Emerton The High Court’s most recent immigration decision reminds us that Australia’s system of immigration detention should not be regarded as just another tool of government policy. It is exceptional, not only politically but also legally. The decision also reminds us both of what the law can offer in pursuit of justice, and […]

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September 10, 2014

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Guest Post: “Nothing About Us Without Us”: National Responses to the CRPD Six Years On

The 2014 Castan Centre/Mallesons Annual Lecture – paper delivered by Professor Emeritus Ron Mccallum AO 1. Introduction Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed a huge honour for me to deliver this annual human rights lecture named for Ron Castan QC. I met Ron on several occasions, but we never conversed at any length. I […]

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August 7, 2014

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Looking beyond Australia’s debate about asylum to better regional answers for refugees

Guest Blogger: Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia The current international refugee situation is one of the most challenging the world has ever seen. Statistics recently released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) show that the number of people forcibly displaced worldwide has now topped 50 million, the highest level […]

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July 28, 2014

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Should Australia legally recognise same-sex marriages validly performed overseas?

By Paula Gerber In the latest poll on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, a staggering 72% of Australians think they should be allowed to wed, while 77% think Coalition MPs should be granted a conscience vote. Despite the overwhelming majority of Australians being in favour of marriage equality, the Abbott Government remains staunchly […]

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July 22, 2014

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Commonwealth Games: is it time to stop playing?

By Paula Gerber Barely six months ago, international anger and calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Russia drew nearly as much news coverage as the games’ sporting achievements. And as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow get under way, it is worth remembering that although Scotland has nothing to match Russia’s gay propaganda laws, the […]

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July 14, 2014

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Ian Thorpe came out, but not in Australia – a wise decision

By Paula Gerber Few who watched Ian Thorpe’s “coming out” interview with British interviewer Michael Parkinson on Sunday night could have  failed to be moved by his story. The anxiety and turmoil he felt in telling the world he is gay was apparent for all to see. Thorpe told Parky: I’m ashamed I didn’t come […]

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July 9, 2014

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The High Court’s Sri Lanka asylum seeker case: the legal issues

By Patrick Emerton Yesterday’s High Court case concerning the fate of Tamil asylum seekers detained at sea by Australian authorities has been adjourned until Friday. The case raises a range of legal questions. These go to the legality of the Australian Government’s policy towards, and treatment of, asylum seekers. They also go to broader questions […]

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