Author: Sarah Joseph

  • Operation Sovereign Borders and the “Drownings Argument”

    Operation Sovereign Borders, offshore detention and the ‘drownings argument’ Sarah Joseph, Monash University This article is based on Sarah Joseph’s presentation to the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law’s 2015 conference, delivered on July 24. On the day of the release of the Human Rights Commission’s report into children in detention, Prime Minister Tony Abbott […]

  • The 2015 Human Rights Report – Torture and Refoulement: the Shame of Liberal Democracies

    By Sarah Joseph This piece is featured in the 2015 Castan Centre Human Rights Report. We will be featuring the articles on the blog throughout the month of May.  Gross human rights abuses happen all over the world. They are not confined to the barbaric acts of groups such as Islamic State. Indeed, even liberal democracies, such […]

  • Ticking down to a possible date with executioners

     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 […]

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

    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 […]

  • 2014 Castan Human Rights Report: The “freedom” debate

    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 […]

  • Freedom: the government’s inconsistent approach

    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 […]