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2014 Castan Human Rights Report: The “freedom” debate

April 28, 2014

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Why Journalists Need Human Rights Training

October 18, 2013


By Paula Gerber The United Nations has recently singled out journalists and media professionals as in need of increased education about human rights, as part of the World Programme for Human Rights Education. Its first phase (2005-2009) focused on human rights education within primary and secondary school systems. Educating children about human rights is a logical […]

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Public servants and free speech

August 15, 2013

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Public servants and free speech By Sarah Joseph, Monash University Public servants have a political opinions, but do they have a right to freely express them on mediums such as Twitter? AAP/Dean Lewins On Monday, August 13, Canberra public servant Michaela Banerji lost a case in the Federal Circuit Court before Judge Neville, which has […]

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The media is offended by the new discrimination bill

January 11, 2013


The Media is Offended by the new Discrimination Bill By Sarah Joseph, Monash University The media is right to be up in arms about proposed new laws. AAP Image/Alan Porritt The federal Attorney General has put forward a proposed new draft anti-discrimination bill. An enquiry into the Bill by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs […]

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2012 stats for Castan Centre blog

December 31, 2012


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: 4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 32,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals Click here to see the complete report.

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Another silly season post: The Law of War and The Lord of the Rings

December 22, 2012


by Sarah Joseph So this is a “storify”, basically a collated bunch of tweets from the night of 21/12 (not the end of the world as we know it) upon watching those war-loving men, elves, hobbits, orcs, wizards, goblins, trolls and dwarves in The Return of the King. Following is a discussion of the applicability […]

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In Defence of Alan Jones

October 5, 2012


In defence of Alan Jones By Sarah Joseph, Monash University AAP Image/Warren Clarke So, Sydney shock-jock Alan Jones has disgraced himself with his appallingly tasteless and hurtful comment, recorded at a recent Sydney University Liberal club dinner, that the late John Gillard “died of shame” over his daughter Julia. He compounded the ignominy with his […]

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The Globalisation of Free Speech: A Race to the Top or the Bottom?

September 28, 2012


By Sarah Joseph Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations in support of anti-blasphemy laws. EPA/Justin Lane The meeting of world leaders at the United Nations has confirmed major faultlines over free speech. In the wake of the outrage prompted by The Innocence of Muslims, member States of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (“OIC”) are demanding […]

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