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July 28, 2014

1 Comment

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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July 8, 2014

1 Comment

Preventing asylum seekers’ return to harm through the High Court

By Maria O’Sullivan Later today, the High Court is due to hear a challenge to the screening and transfer of a boatload of Sri Lankan asylum seekers back to Sri Lankan authorities. Under international law, return of persons to their country of origin without properly ascertaining if they are refugees is clearly in breach of […]

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July 4, 2014

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Handing over Tamils to the state they fled breaks international law

by Azadeh Dastyari Australia appears to have reached a new all-time low in its violation of international obligations and its treatment of vulnerable people seeking Australia’s protection. If widespread media reports are true, Australia is preparing to hand over to the Sri Lankan Navy a group of Tamil asylum seekers who fled Sri Lanka. The group reportedly includes 37 […]

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June 27, 2014

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Child workers in Vietnam face further exploitation

Vietnamese children as young as 11 are working for up to 18 hours a day in harsh and abusive conditions, often unpaid and denied communication with their families, a study shows. The study, led by Professor Susan Kneebone of Monash University’s Castan Centre for Human Rights Law in collaboration with the children’s foundation Blue Dragon, looks at the causes and […]

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June 26, 2014

6 Comments

Freeing the RDA ‘Free Speech’ submissions

Some submissions on the proposed amendments to S18C & D, Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth): by Melissa Castan The Australian Government is currently considering amendments to section 18C and D of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, and in March 2014 called for submissions on an exposure draft (available here). It has been estimated that over 5000 […]

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June 25, 2014

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Deterring and denying asylum seekers in Australia

By Azadeh Dastyari Australia has long prided itself on its commitment to fairness. It is a signatory to a range of international conventions intended to protect the vulnerable and has in the past provided sanctuary for those seeking refuge, most notably in the wake of the Vietnam War. In recent years, however, successive Australian governments […]

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June 3, 2014

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As region’s homophobia turns deadly, let’s stand up for rights

By Associate Professor Paula Gerber Although Australia does not yet allow same-sex couples to marry, it is not a country that is generally described as homophobic. The days of it being a crime to be gay here are, thankfully, a relic of a bygone era. By and large, Australian laws protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender […]

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