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November 19, 2014

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Questioning the queue: blocking protection to asylum seekers in Indonesia

By Maria O’Sullivan Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has announced that asylum seekers residing in Indonesia while awaiting protection will no longer obtain resettlement in Australia. This move puts into serious question the humanitarian rationale for Australia’s resettlement program and its work on a Regional Co-operation Framework for asylum seekers in Southeast Asia. Government officials constantly […]

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November 3, 2014

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Freedom, the sublime and the patriotic

Speech to Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Gala Dinner by  Keynote Speaker Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Federal Race Discrimination Commissioner During the past year or so, I have been constantly asked two questions with unerring predictability. One: Should the Racial Discrimination Act be amended? Two: How is everyone getting along at the Australian Human Rights […]

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October 28, 2014

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Have You Got That Right?

By Professor Sarah Joseph Today we are proud to launch an innovative series of videos called Have You Got That Right? As the tag-line says, these videos will answer important human rights questions “quickly, clearly and in a way that won’t put you to sleep”. The project will be broken into a number of 10-episode […]

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October 28, 2014

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Protecting the rights of LGBTI people: are things getting better or worse?

By Paula Gerber For much of 2014, we have seen a worsening of the situation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people around the world. There have been new crimes of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ created in Uganda and Nigeria, while Brunei announced that it will be introducing the death penalty for people convicted of […]

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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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