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There’s more to be lost than gained in stripping citizenship

OPINION: Sangeetha PillaiThe Conversation24 February 2015

PM’s terrorism talk all rhetoric, no new vision

OPINION: Dr Fergal Davis, The Sydney Morning Herald24 February 2015.

On Monday Prime Minister Tony Abbott outlined his vision for Australia's national security. The statement is striking in terms of the rhetoric and the substance. Stylistically, the  Prime Minister is "standing on the shoulders of giants"; his speech gave more than a passing nod to former US president George W. Bush. In terms of substance, there is little new.

‘Good government’ gets lost in the pursuit of national security

OPINION: Dr Gabrielle Appleby, The Conversation, 19 February 2015.

Experts find little dissent at High Court

Professor George Williams comments in The Australian Financial Review (13 February 2015) on increase in unanimous decisions in the High Court.

University of NSW professor George Williams, who compiled the statistics with colleague Andrew Lynch, said the apolitical nature of recent appointments and the relatively similar backgrounds of the judges influenced the court's unanimity.

It will take more than money and fine words to close the gap

Professor Megan Davis comments in The Sydney Morning Herald (13 February 2015) on what it will take to close the gap in indigenous disadvantage

University of NSW professor of law Megan Davis backs indigenous people’s claims that policies have come and gone not neces­sarily because of lack of funding but because of a bureaucracy blind to the people it is designed to help.

Who is legally responsible for abuse of asylum seeker children?

OPINION: Madeline Gleeson, Crikey, 12 February 2015.

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s report into children in immigration detention is out, and the findings are clear. The prolonged and mandatory detention of Australia’s “forgotten” asylum seeker children causes “significant mental and physical illness and developmental delays, in breach of Australia’s international obligations”.

Giving blindly can funnel money to terrorists

OPINION: Stephen Dametto, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 February 2015. 

Australians must be vigilant to ensure they are not inadvertently supporting terrorist organisations when they make innocuous donations to charity.

Despite assertions from Jacqui Lambie in a Senate speech on Tuesday evening halal money is supporting terrorist activities, there is no evidence that this occurs in Australia. 

It's been 10 years, how do we still have children in detention?

OPINION: Madeline Gleeson, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 February 2015.

"Australians don't need a team of experts or dramatic media stories to convince them that detention centres are no place for children to grow up." These words are from the introduction to the Australian Human Rights Commission's report into children in immigration detention – 10 years ago.

High Court in closer agreement – new statistics

The High Court’s approach to decision-making has reflected high levels of agreement between its members, with an increase in unanimous decisions in 2014, an annual examination of the court’s decisions has found.

The High Court on Constitutional Law: 2014 Statistics by Professors Andrew Lynch and George Williams from the University of New South Wales is being presented today (Friday 13 February) at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law annual Constitutional Law Conference.

The study looks at the High Court’s composition, the degree of unanimity, with an emphasis on constitutional cases.