April 1, 2015


It’s time to modernise Australia’s birth registration system

Making the birth registration system more accessible and user-friendly would help to address low rates of birth registration.

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March 17, 2015

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Homophobia is alive and well in the world of cricket

By Paula Gerber At World Cup cricket match on in Sydney on 8 March, between Sri Lanka and Australia, a Sri Lankan supporter waved a sign branding Australian cricketer Glen Maxwell a “fag”, in Sinhalese. The fan’s homophobic slur was certainly shocking, but even worse was the lack of any reaction in the mainstream media. Only […]

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February 23, 2015


Hicks conviction overturned – is he owed an apology or assistance?

By Adam Fletcher A United States Military Court’s decision to overturn David Hicks’ conviction for the crime of “material support for terrorism” represents a welcome return to the international rule of law – at least in the US. I have written previously that material support for terrorism was effectively a “non-crime” at the time of […]

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February 17, 2015


The Debate about having a debate about a business and human rights treaty

By Joanna Kyriakakis The current debate about the desirability of renewing discussions on a UN Business and Human Rights treaty frustrates me a little. There. I said it. I am not referring to conversations about what the substance of any treaty might look like, which will in due course be necessary. Rather, it is opposition […]

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February 16, 2015


Open letter in support of the Australian Human Rights Commission

The following open letter was sent to editors of a number of Australian media publications regarding recent political attacks on the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs. Its signatories included a number of Castan Centre academics. If you would like to add your name in support of this letter, please do […]

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February 11, 2015

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Closing the Gap, very slowly

By Marius Smith Today was Close the Gap day in Australia as not one but two key reports were released. The first is the Commonwealth Government’s official Closing the Gap report and the second is the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Close the Gap – Progress and priorities report. The Commission’s document is effectively a “shadow report” put together […]

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February 2, 2015

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Referendum on banning the Burqa? No thanks

By Paula Gerber and Farinaz Zamani Ashni Pauline Hanson is once again fuelling the flames of racism and xenophobia in Australia by suggesting that we should hold a referendum on banning the burqa. Hanson has joined a number of politicians who have a similar preoccupation with what Muslim women should wear. Following the high profile anti-terrorism […]

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January 29, 2015

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AFP will have blood on its hands if Bali pair Chan and Sukumaran are executed

By Ronli Sifris In recent weeks there has been a renewal of public interest in the Bali Nine, largely stemming from the rejection by Indonesian President Joko Widodo of pleas for clemency to save the lives of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. It is well known that Chan and Sukumaran have been on death row for […]

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January 28, 2015

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Australia can detain asylum seekers on the high seas, the High Court decides

By Maria O’Sullivan On Wednesday, the High Court handed down an important judgment on the legality of the interception of asylum seeker vessels and the detention of those onboard on the high seas. It ruled, by a 4:3 majority, that the Sri Lankan asylum seekers held at sea in 2014 on a Customs vessel were […]

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January 22, 2015

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Rights and the non-human animal

By Joanna Kyriakakis In news that recently made the rounds on social media, an Argentine court reportedly held that an Orangutan named Sandra was a non-human person with the right to freedom from arbitrary detention. Media reports, examples of which can be found here and here, indicated the successful use of habeas corpus to have […]

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