Author: Melissa Castan

  • Indigenous people cannot be aliens in their own land. Why challenging this fact (again) is so concerning

    Indigenous people cannot be aliens in their own land. Why challenging this fact (again) is so concerning

    By Melissa Castan and Kate Galloway Last year, we wrote an overview of the High Court decision in Love, Thoms v Commonwealth. The case concerned whether the Commonwealth had the power to deport two Aboriginal men who were born overseas. Neither man was an Australian citizen under Commonwealth law. If the men were deemed “aliens”, then […]

  • COVIDSafe and Identity: Governance Beyond Privacy

    COVIDSafe and Identity: Governance Beyond Privacy

    By Kate Galloway and Melissa Castan There has rarely been a greater test of our structures of governance than the flurry of lawmaking amidst the declared emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. Self-containment and restrictions on public (physical) engagement are starting to take their toll. Consequently, while fearful of the worst-case scenario of this terrible disease, some individuals […]

  • Legal identity and the Love case: the High Court rules Indigenous people cannot be deported as aliens

    Legal identity and the Love case: the High Court rules Indigenous people cannot be deported as aliens

    By Melissa Castan and Kate Galloway The High Court made an important decision today about whether it is possible for Aboriginal Australians to be deported from the country if they are not citizens. By a majority of 4:3, the court decided that: “Aboriginal Australians … are not within the reach of the ‘aliens’ power conferred by s […]

  • A Voice to Parliament – the change we need

    A Voice to Parliament – the change we need

    By Melissa Castan and Kate Galloway An ongoing inability to consult has caused failure after failure in Indigenous policy, but a Voice to Parliament represents an opportunity for better governance and most importantly, self-determination, Melissa Castan and Kate Galloway write. Listening is the only way forward. Over two years since the launch of the Uluru Statement […]

  • Is liking something on Facebook ‘protected political speech’?

    Is liking something on Facebook ‘protected political speech’?

    If you’re a public servant, just liking a post on Facebook or Twitter could be a problem (Picture: Soze Soze/Shutterstock)   By Melissa Castan Australians are often surprised to learn that their Constitution contains no right to free speech. Even the right to political speech, which is constitutionally implied, is increasingly complicated by new online platforms […]

  • How the 2016 Census breaches the right to privacy

    How the 2016 Census breaches the right to privacy

    By Melissa Castan and Caroline Henckels This Australian Census undoubtedly provides essential information to government for planning for our nation’s future needs. However, this year’s Census has raised a number of concerns. In particular, we are concerned about: The privacy of peoples’ personal information retained by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (‘ABS’) The lack of […]