Author Archives | Sarah Joseph

About Sarah Joseph

Ticking down to a possible date with executioners

January 19, 2015

1 Comment

 By Sarah Joseph Tick tick tick. Ticking down. Inexorably. To a designated time when I will be blindfolded in a white shirt with a reflective tag over my heart. I will be given three minutes to “calm down”, and have a choice to lie, sit or stand. A few metres away a firing squad will […]

Continue reading...

Charlie Hebdo: the pen must defy the sword, Islamic or not

January 9, 2015


By Sarah Joseph The slaying of the Charlie Hebdo journalists and cartoonists because of their work is the grossest attack on the value of free speech, and of course the right to life. In the deadly attack on the magazine’s office, the sword has crushed the pen: an unspeakable outrage. An attack on liberal values […]

Continue reading...

2014 Castan Human Rights Report: The “freedom” debate

April 28, 2014

1 Comment

By Sarah Joseph Our Federal government is committed to promoting greater ‘freedom’. We have a new ‘Freedom Commissioner’, Tim Wilson. And, writing in January, Attorney General George Brandis described ‘freedom’ as the ‘most fundamental of all human rights’. What does “freedom” mean? But … freedom of what? Freedom to what? Freedom without an accompanying noun […]

Continue reading...

Freedom: the government’s inconsistent approach

April 10, 2014


By Sarah Joseph Our federal government is committed to promoting greater “freedom”. It has appointed a “Freedom Commissioner”, Tim Wilson, and has asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to conduct a freedom audit of statutory laws. Writing in January, Attorney-General George Brandis described “freedom” as the “most fundamental of all human rights”.  But what does […]

Continue reading...

Rights to bigotry and green lights to hate

March 28, 2014


By Sarah Joseph, Monash University AAP/Stefan Postles Poor George Brandis. Our Attorney-General seems to have wedged himself on the issue of racial vilification. Soon after the election of the Abbott government, Senator Brandis defiantly declared that repeal of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act would be his first task as Australia’s first law officer. […]

Continue reading...

The Biennale Boycott Blues

March 21, 2014


by Sarah Joseph The Sydney Biennale starts today after weeks of controversy over the severing of its relationship with Transfield, the company that runs the detention centre in Nauru and which will take over the one at Manus island. To recap, several artists withdrew from the Biennale in protest over its sponsorship arrangement with Transfield […]

Continue reading...

Human Rights and International Law (24): 20 Years Ago, Dallaire Sent His “Genocide Fax”

January 14, 2014


A very sad anniversary.

Continue reading...

Tim Wilson, the Australian Human Rights Commission, and “balancing” human rights

December 20, 2013


by Sarah Joseph (this post was originally published by The Drum on 19 December) Tim Wilson, former policy director for right-wing think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), has been appointed as the human rights commissioner. His remit will be in the area of “freedom”, focusing particularly on freedom of speech. Attorney-General George Brandis explained […]

Continue reading...

Thoughts on Nelson Mandela

December 13, 2013


by Sarah Joseph  (speech at the Monash University memorial service to Nelson Mandela at the Monash Religious Centre, 13 December 2013, 1pm) I am very honoured to be speaking today at this memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela, Madiba, was a true human rights inspiration, for his fight against apartheid, but even more so […]

Continue reading...

Spies know more about us … but we know more about them

November 27, 2013


By Sarah Joseph EPA/Ole Spata The revelations that Australia intercepted the communications of the President of Indonesia, his wife, and other prominent Indonesian politicians in 2009, have caused major ructions in the Australia/Indonesia relationship. But do these revelations not simply reveal that spies do their job? After all, it isn’t surprising that spies spy. And […]

Continue reading...

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 320 other followers