Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Voluntary Assisted Dying Becomes Reality in Victoria

Euthanasia – Courtesy Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0
"The Australian state of Victoria is the first in the country to have passed voluntary assisted dying [VAD] legislation. This historic decision by the Victorian parliament has been very controversial, with people divided over the question of euthanasia on ethical and/or religious grounds.

...The likelihood of VAD becoming law in other parts of the country is uncertain. There have been a number of unsuccessful attempts in recent years in other states to introduce comparable legislation, and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is going down a similar path to Victoria by establishing a multi-party parliamentary committee to look into end of life choices.

While any VAD laws that the ACT may pass could still be disallowed by the federal parliament, it seems that only one parliamentary member would be keen to do so: the former prime minister, Tony Abbott, is a conservative Catholic who campaigned vigorously against same sex marriage, and he has said that he hopes the Victorian laws will be overturned someday."

From my latest post: Victoria Becomes the First Australian State to Pass Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Australian Federal Police Accessed Journalist's Phone Records Illegally - ‘We Told You So'

My latest post for Global Voices Advox:

The Australian Federal Police revealed on April 28 that one of their officers broke the law by accessing a journalist's phone records without a warrant.

...There was... a strong negative reaction on social media, especially from critics of the data retention system. There were concerns that the police, often referred to as the AFP (not to be confused with the French news wire) are above the law as the officer concerned is not facing any action.

...Others shared their concerns that the original justification for retaining and accessing data, namely national security and drug law enforcement, was being used to control media freedom

...The police have admitted that the data revealed by the breach cannot be “unseen”. Whether evidence arising from the illegality will be admissible in a court case remains unclear.

‘We Told You So: Australian Federal Police Accessed Journalist's Phone Records Illegally