find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Fraser slams all barriers to injustice

Fraser slams all barriers to injustice

AUSTRALIA’S REPUTATION as a successful multicultural society is under threat, and it is well on the way to becoming one that diminishes the rights of its minority groups through badly designed…

AUSTRALIA’S REPUTATION as a successful multicultural society is under threat, and it is well on the way to becoming one that diminishes the rights of its minority groups through badly designed laws, according to former Prime

Minister, the Right Hon Malcolm Fraser.

In a speech to the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales at the 2006 Justice Awards held at Parliament House, Fraser offered in some detail his version of where Australia had gone wrong on its ethical responsibilities to minority groups, via the law and politics.

As Australia’s indigenous population appears low on the Government’s agenda, said Fraser, increasingly so too are refugees and potential refugees.

“We know the Government sought to excise all of Australia from our migration zone. In the process, the Government would have broken a promise made only last year to keep children out of detention. This time it was going to be detention in some off shore prison. Out of sight, and the Government would have hoped, quite out of mind.

“Because some member of the Liberal Party would not accept these changes and the Labor Party was prepared to oppose them, for which they must have credit, this particular legislation was withdrawn. But we know the Government’s intention. We know what the Government was prepared to do,” Fraser said.

Fraser covered much of the current Government’s intentions for Australia’s minority groups, where it had gone wrong, and continues to go wrong, on policy making and its version of ethics.

He argued that under current policies minority groups in Australia have no adequate protection under the law. “The administration has avowedly pursued policies designed to deny access to the law to increasingly large groups of people,” he said.

“A civilised society is judged by its adherence to the rule of law, to due process and the ease with which all people would have access to the law. And nobody knows that better than all of you who are here tonight.”

Noting that the new security laws diminish the rights of all Australians, Fraser said he did not know any other democracy that has legislated for the secret detention of people the authorities know to be innocent.

“You are not allowed to make a phone call. You cannot ring your wife or husband to say where you are, that you’re alright. You just disappear. Your spouse goes home at night. You’re not there. You are not allowed to ring a lawyer unless that is specifically conceded in the warrant for your detention.”

In his own experiences, migrant groups in Australia have always understood the necessity to abide by Australian laws and customs, Fraser said, while appreciating the openness with which their old customs can still be celebrated.

“We really believed in strength through diversity and that the acceptance of diversity would bring Australians closer together.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Fraser slams all barriers to injustice
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...