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Dutton's contempt for judicial independence and the rule of law

Peter Dutton's latest potshot at the judiciary shows an alarming contempt for the rule of law, Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim says.

"Dutton's suggestion of 'public reflection' is a step towards the direct election of judges - an alarming proposition for someone with as much unchecked power as him."

"Judges and magistrates should be independent experts in the law, not populist politicians."

"This is a dangerous erosion of the rule of law, and Malcolm Turnbull should finally bring his out of control minister to heel."

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Foreign interference laws

The Greens share the deep concerns of civil liberties groups and media organisations about the scale and scope of the Government's foreign interference and espionage laws.

"This legislation risks criminalising a wide range of actions which are not only legitimate, but for the common good," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“These include medical and other academic research and public interest journalism.”

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OPCAT ratification must include offshore detention

The government's ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is welcome but the inspection regime must include Australia's offshore detention system, Greens Justice Spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"The government's decision to ratify OPCAT is an important and welcome human rights decision," Senator McKim said.

"It has the potential to improve conditions in, and oversight of, prisons and places of detention across Australia."

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Labor and Liberal leaders sign away basic rights

Labor and Liberal leaders have abjectly failed to make the case for today’s COAG decision to sign away yet another tranche of hard-won rights and freedoms, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Police and security agencies already have abundant powers to do their job and to arrest, interview and charge suspects,” Senator McKim said.

“The rights that the Labor and Liberal parties have eroded today are a crucial part of what set Australia apart from authoritarian regimes."

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States must resist Turnbull’s erosion of civil rights

State and territory governments should push back against Malcolm Turnbull’s latest attack on fundamental rights and liberties, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“The massive expansion of police and detention powers being proposed by the Prime Minister is yet another erosion of Australians’ basic freedoms,” Senator McKim said.

“Detention without charge is completely unjustified and incompatible with the rule of law and basic freedoms.”

“The wider use of facial recognition software will affect every Australian's privacy.”

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Greens announce plans for a Charter of Rights

As Australians, we pride ourselves on enjoying so many freedoms, yet our laws do not adequately reflect, or protect them. Today the Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale and Attorney General Spokesperson, Senator Nick McKim announced their plan to table, debate and vote on Charter of Rights legislation in this term of parliament.  

Australia is the only western democracy that does not protect the basic rights and freedoms of its people in either legislation or the constitution, said Senator Di Natale.

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Dutton's new department an attack on freedom

The creation of a new supersized department of Australia’s security and immigration agencies led by Peter Dutton would move Australia closer to becoming a police state, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Labor and the Liberals have spent the last 15 years trying to frighten Australians to justify eroding our fundamental freedoms and liberties," Senator McKim said.

"This is another step down that terrifying road.”

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Tudge, Hunt and Sukkar should pay for their own defence

The government ministers at the centre of the contempt of court proceedings should pay for their own legal defence, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Mr Hunt's Mr Sukkar's and Mr Tudge's comments had nothing to do with their portfolio responsibilities. They should pay for their own defence," Senator McKim said.

"If they are foolish enough to try to bring the court into disrepute for base political purposes, then they should stick their hands into their own pockets."

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Community legal funding backdown a welcome first step

The government's backdown on community legal centre funding should be the first step to properly funding the sector, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Attorney-General George Brandis has finally bowed to community pressure and reinstated the funding to CLCs that his government stripped away," Senator McKim said.

"This is a welcome step that will prevent thousands more people in need of legal assistance from being turned away."

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