Public demonstrations are great, right? Marches, protests, rallies — the right to gather and give the government a good yelling at is the pulse of democracy. Of course, the quality of the democracy is determined by how well the government listens and responds. It all hinges on whether an outcome is achieved. Unfortunately, Ukraine has a […]
February 14th — a day of sending people red roses, and heart-shaped cards, and boxes of chocolates big enough that they don’t mind that you’re not actually there, right? A day following in the tradition of St Valentine, who did…er…something to do with romantic love? Well, while many are worried about their wallets when Valentine’s Day […]
If there’s one thing corporations dislike, it’s tax. No one really likes paying tax regardless of which way they lean — there are those who feel it is a societal duty and those who feel it is a burdensome waste, but neither actually enjoy giving their money away. When the Government announced plans to lower […]
What makes a national day? In the United States, as with the majority of nations, it is a commemoration of defiant independence. France celebrates the storming of a fortress – a moment of fire and blood that gave way to the Republic. Over the border, it is a day of unification, when East and West […]
After copping criticism over the spread of “fake news” via Facebook during the 2016 US Presidential Election, Mark Zuckerberg has announced Facebook is introducing measures that will prioritise “trusted” and “informative” news sources in users’ Facebook News Feeds. According to Mr Zuckerberg: “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media […]
The events in Hawaii last week brought to the fore the numerous ways in which maintaining a nuclear deterrent can sometimes go awry. It’s worth reflecting that the lack of a nuclear winter has been a close run thing at several moments throughout history. So, in the spirit of laughing because we cannot cry, we’ve […]
Crises are almost unavoidable when under the scrutiny of the public eye. People will always be offended by something, an action will always be interpreted differently, and accidents will always happen. It will always be a struggle for public entities and high-profile individuals to build and maintain trust. All that can be done is to […]
Image credit: Vborodinova (Pixabay) – CC0 After a year of rising tension on the Korean Peninsular and war seemingly at breaking point, 2018 may signal the beginning of better relations between North and South Korea. In his new year address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said it was vital to lower military tensions in the […]
Unless you’ve been living under a rock of late, or have been taking a break from social media, you’ll likely have heard of the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle (of Suits fame). Their wedding day is already confirmed as May 19, about six months after they were engaged. Not having had such an event for […]
Image credit: Russian Government (Kremlin.ru) If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity. — John F. Kennedy The first American I recall meeting was a middle-aged male tourist from San Diego. He was the most stereotypical American tourist one could conjure up. He had a classic goatee, […]
War punctuates human history with a monotonous regularity. Although typically terrifying and tragic to those who live, die and fight through wars, great things can grow from these seemingly inevitable conflicts. The English Civil War (1642–49) and Glorious Revolution (1688–89) laid the groundwork for modern democracy, while the American and French Revolutions (1775–83 and 1789–99 respectively) made substantial contributions to the development of what are today recognised as fundamental human rights. In more general terms, the vast empires established by conquest throughout history have aided the spread of ideas, albeit usually at the expense of native populations. War, while bad, can lead to good or at least useful results.
Is your country under threat? Is your youth unemployment rate getting too high? Does your economy need a pick-me-up? Wouldn’t it be good if I could tell you one way to achieve a highly skilled, experienced and employable workforce with a strong work ethic, while also being able to protect your nation and boost its economy? […]
The world in which we find ourselves seems like a series of crises teetering on the edge, simmering away under the careful stewardship of world leaders and their accompanying bureaucracies. There is no starker example of this than the precarious Korean peninsula, at the epicenter of a growing war of words and threats, all with the lives of a minimum of four million souls hanging in the balance.
Now that the High Court prepares to hear cases concerning the dual citizenship status of seven current and former parliamentarians, it is important to reflect on the reasons why section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution exists. What exactly is it meant to prevent? Is it doing its job?
With two months left until the result of the Australian Marriage Law Survey is announced, a lot of attention will be dedicated to the proposed changes to the Marriage Act, with many column inches and plenty of airtime postulating on the effects and justification of doing so. Lost in this analysis is the purpose for […]
Australia stands almost alone in the Anglosphere in its lack of marriage equality, with only Northern Ireland to keep it company. Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, most of the United Kingdom, and the United States have all achieved marriage equality over the past decade-and-a-half, through a variety of judicial and legislative mechanisms. Australia is […]
In 1953 the Council of Europe adopted the European Convention on Human Rights, establishing a regional system to protect human rights in its member states, complete with domestic and regional courts to enforce it. Regional systems have also developed in the Americas through the Organisation of American States, and through the African Union. This leaves Asia and the Pacific as the only region without a human rights system.
The recent spate of referrals to the High Court about dual citizenship has put quite a few political careers on the line, and has made for some pretty interesting news in the meantime. But can we expect things to get resolved anytime soon? Not likely — at least not before the High Court starts considering cases in October. Either way, the path forward on the citizenship issue is rocky, and is a bit different for each House of Parliament.
In Part 1, we had a look at the definition of free speech according to two United Nations instruments, and some common principles that give rise to exceptions for it. In this article, we’ll be looking in more detail at how this applies to a country — namely Australia — and then how everything changes once you jump online.
Here in Australia, we consider ourselves quite ‘lucky’. I can put pretty much what I like on Facebook, and know that police won’t be showing up at my door. Unless I start posting about bombs, or assassination, or terrorism, perhaps – but even then, it depends on the context. I could be talking about water bombs, the mafia card game, and Counterstrike.