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A prayer in solidarity

OPINION: Senior Lecturer Fergal Davis, Australian Jewish News, 17 October 2014. 

I've been spending a lot of time in shul recently - two days of Yom Tov leading straight into Shabbat makes for a fair bit of prayer, a lot of eating and a some space to think. 

I've written previously about the Recognise campaign. Our Constitution still does not recognise the first Australians. And it still says in Section 25 that the states can ban people from voting based on their race. This needs to be fixed. There is bipartisan support for change and the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, speaks about the need to "complete the Constitution rather than significantly change it".

A law unto himself, Whitlam's reforms stood the test of time

OPINION: Professor George Williams, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October 2014.

Gough Whitlam led a government that mixed controversy and turmoil with unprecedented achievement. His successes were nowhere more evident than in the field of legal reform. Here his commitment went beyond party policy. It was personal.

McCloy's challenge may derail NSW's political finance laws

OPINION: Professor George Williams, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 October 2014.

Last week NSW Premier Mike Baird announced changes to the state's political finance laws. They amount only to an interim measure, with long term reforms to follow based upon the report of the government's expert panel on political donations chaired by Kerry Schott. 

Justice reinvestment saves huge costs of law-and-order auctions

OPINION: Sarah Hopkins and Gino Vumbaca, The Conversation, 20 October 2014.

Graphic novel to help protect and promote LGBTI rights in Africa

An educational comic book and video project about same-sex love and discrimination will be distributed in 16 African countries as part of an international campaign to promote and protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights.

Developed by UNSW’s Australian Human Rights Centre (AHRCentre), SOGI’s Story is a short graphic novel about same-sex couple Sogi and Kojo. It aims to dispel harmful myths and stigmas, and prevent discrimination and violence in 16 African Commonwealth countries, most of which have criminalised homosexuality by law.

Anti-terror laws need proper scrutiny

OPINION: Professor George Williams, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 October 2014.

The Abbott government had a significant win last week when parliament passed its first anti-terror bill. The bill went through with barely a murmur, despite it enabling journalists to be jailed for reporting on special intelligence operations and unprecedented levels of surveillance by ASIO of whole computer networks.

Women of influence

UNSW Law would like to congratulate four of its alumni who have each received nominations in Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence' awards for 2014 - a prestigious annual award bestowed by The Australian Financial Review and Westpac.

Setting an example for a new generation of leaders in Australia and within their chosen fields, UNSW Law alumni took out nominations in the following three categories:


Elizabeth Broderick [BA '82, LLB '84] - Commissioner for Sex and Age Discrimination, Australian Human Rights Commission

Young  Leader:

Anti-terrorism legislation

Professor George Williams speaks to ABC's RN Law Report host Damien Carrick as he leads a five-year study looking at Australia's anti-terror laws. This follows the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill No 1 that the Senate has passed, and the one hundred and sixty page Foreign Fighters Bill that was introduced into Parliament. (30 September 2014)

Digital Disruptors

Associate Professor Deborah Healey speaks to ABC's RN Law Report host Damien Carrick about the issue of sharing economy companies like Uber and AirBnB, and their implications for competition against the background of the draft Harper Review of competition law and policy. (30 September 2014)

Asylum bill is high-handed and Cambodia deal just a quick fix

OPINION: Professor Jane McAdamThe Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 2014.

The asylum bill introduced into Federal Parliament last week is an extraordinary display of the government's disdain for international law – and its fundamental misunderstanding of it.

The bill seeks to remove the already limited ability of the courts to evaluate Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in accordance with our international treaty obligations.