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Lessons of 1967 referendum still apply to debates on constitutional recognition

OPINION: Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby and Gemma McKinnon, The Conversation, 22 May 2017.

Saturday, May 27, marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. As the date approaches, many are reflecting on a moment that is recalled as one of the great “successes” in the advancement of Indigenous Australians.

We desperately need a genuine plan for federal reform

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, the Sydney Morning Herald, 21 May 2017.

If there is one thing our politicians agree on, it is that Australia's federal system is broken. A long succession of state and federal leaders have made this point, including most recently NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who says the Commonwealth "needs a massive overhaul". She wants "an honest conversation about our federation" and a new system that encourages states to pursue reform.

Myanmar failing to stop spread of religious violence, UN envoy says

Dr Melissa Crouch speaks to The Guardian (19 May 2017) regarding the current state of Myanmar and it's escalated religious intolerance following the recent setencing of Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama.

Melissa Crouch discussed an “intimidation campaign” that is currently under way in Yangon, saying that Nationalist protests have in the past shut down religious events.

The long road to recognition

OPINION: Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby and Associate Professor Sean Brennan, Inside Story, 19 May 2017.

First Nations have reclaimed the recognition process in the lead-up to a landmark gathering at Uluru this month.

As Myanmar Democratizes, Women’s Rights Lag Behind

Dr Melissa Crouch speaks to the New York Times (16 May 2017) regarding the current changes happening in Myanmar and the lack of protection and action to change women's rights and safety in the country.

Dr Crouch discusses the current laws that are in place that restrict marriages between Buddhist women and Muslim men adn the reasoning behind them.

Read the article here.

Jailing of Jakarta governor Ahok puts focus back on Indonesian blasphemy laws

Dr Melissa Crouch speaks to The Sydney Morning Herald (13 May 2017) regarding the conviction of Ahok, and the role of the courts in the decision.

Dr Melissa Crouch explained that there had been "surprisingly little commentary on the role the courts played in Ahok's downfall."

Ahok, Indonesia’s ‘Nemo’, sentenced to jail

OPINION: Dr Melissa Crouch, Asia & The Pacific Policy Society Policy Forum, 10 May 2017.

What do Nemo, the Archangel Gabriel, a martial arts teacher, and a man who whistled during prayers have in common? They have all been convicted by a court for blasphemy in Indonesia.

Jakarta's Christian Governor Ahok jailed for two years for blasphemy

Dr Melissa Crouch speaks to The Sydney Morning Herald (10 May 2017) regarding the imprisonment of Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) for being found guilit of blaspheming against religion.

Dr Crouch, claimed that the verdict was not inconsistent saying, "Judges fiercely guard their independence in Indonesia, and it may be that in this case they felt that the prosecutor recommended charges that were inconsistent with the original reason the case was brought to court."

Indonesia Governor’s Loss Shows Increasing Power of Islamists

Dr Melissa Crouch speaks to The New York Times (6 May 2017) regarding the role of religion in elections and the recent case of Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama in Indonesia.

“Religion has become politicized in local elections, and we saw that emerge in a big way in the election for governor in Jakarta,” said Melissa Crouch, “Democracy gives a greater space to everyone, including greater space for radical Islam.”

Read the full article here.

Predictive Coding: Machine Learning Disrupts Discovery

OPINION: Associate Professor Michael Legg and Thomas Davey (UNSW Alumni), The Law Society Journal, April 2017.

The decision in McConnell Dowell Constructions (Aust) Pty Ltd v Santam Ltd (No 1) [2016] VSC 734 (‘McConnell Dowell’) signals the emerging judicial acceptance of predictive coding and should encourage practitioners in New South Wales to embrace the technology. Predictive coding provides solicitors with a rare opportunity to dramatically improve the time efficiency and cost effectiveness of court proceedings while also enhancing justice.

Machine learning, predictive coding and technology assisted review