High cost of retrial puts case in doubt

David Eastman was convicted in 1995 of the murder of Assistant Commissioner of Police Colin Winchester. On August 22, 2014, the conviction was quashed and a new trial ordered, by which time Eastman had served almost 20 years of a sentence of life imprisonment.

The DPP is proceeding with the retrial. The costs of the retrial are reported by the Canberra Times as something of the order of $27 million. The ACT Budget sets aside $5.103 million for the trial in the current year and in addition $3.028 million is allocated to the Office of the DPP, an undisclosed portion of which relates to the Eastman prosecution.

Nov 2017 newsletter: CLA calls for total overhaul in ‘Rebirth of the Nation’

The citizenship-politician crisis is warning and opportunity that it’s time for a complete overhaul of Australia’s Constitution, two centuries after its drafting. We need a new ‘founding deed’. And the new basic document to facilitate a ‘rebirth of the nation’ should incorporate a Bill of Rights, Civil Liberties Australia says.

Other items in this issue include:

  • Medical students back euthanasia
  • NZ to get Criminal Cases Review Commission: Australia next?
  • New refugee class action may be equally costly
  • Nationalism bigger risk than terrorism: Greste
  • ASEAN summit won’t discuss civil liberties
  • Forensic scientists, prosecutors, lie to court
  • Could this happen in Australia under S-S marriage laws?
  • Quebec opts for full facial disclosure

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Plebiscite over, where to now for SSM?

With the squibiscite over,  and presumably favouring Same-Sex Marriage as polls predicted, the battle will turn to wording of a new law. Here’s what CLA has said about that. 24 Oct 2017

HC proves need for HR Act

The High Court has struck a blow for Australians’ freedom to protest and speak up by ruling that Tasmania’s draconian 2014 laws were unconstitutional and showed ‘Pythonesque absurdity’.

Oct 2017 CLArion: Govt living in fear is newly afraid of fictitious bodies threat

The government, fresh from ringing itself in a steel-fenced citadel, has announced proposed new legal protection to stop fictitious bodies taking over control of the nation. Meanwhile, the politicians meant to safeguard our Constitution are using weird logic to try to safeguard their own positions of power.

Other items in this issue include:

  • Politicians try to twist law to suit themselves
  • Gene developments make new law more urgent
  • Committee proposes better, more rewarding whistleblower protection
  • Should the Senate pass these laws?
  • What you c’n and c’n’t say on a sandwich board
  • Saga set for public run in new stage show
  • Worker has right to private email sex discussion
  • Lobbying adds to cost of drugs

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Rally aims to lift law’s deadweight

Over eight years, there has been so much rallying, so regularly, by respected members of society, that the Sue Neill-Fraser case must eventually demand a formal public inquiry. 23 Aug 2017

CLA helps prepare for rights dialogue

CLA Director Jennifer Ashton reports on behind-scenes work helping the government to prepare for dialogue with Vietnam, in which Australia promotes greater adherence to human rights norms. 19 July 2017

Defamation online…for beginners

Do you tweet, face-off, blog…or just email, and reply to emails? Chances are you’re a candidate for a defamation action, or to be defamed. Read Defamation 101. 15 Aug 2017

Let’s protect our right to health

Patents protect intellectual property, but what safeguards right to health? With courts permitting patents over medical ’things’, parliament may have to legislate to ensure people retain their health rights. 9 Aug 2017

Rights in Oz: ‘regressing all over’

As Tasmania and Queensland consider introducing Bills of Rights, a new book points out that Australians’ liberties and freedoms are being wound back, rather than being maintained and reinforced.. 8 Aug 2017