Corruption and accountability: the AFP in the Asia/Pacific region

Corruption and accountability: the AFP in the Asia/Pacific region

The criminal justice system consists of three main parts: (1) Legislative (create laws); (2) adjudication (courts); and (3) corrections (prisons, probation, parole, fines, community service). In a criminal justice system, these distinct agencies operate together both under the rule of law and as the principal means of maintaining the rule of law within society. The first contact an alleged offender usually has with the criminal justice system is the police ...

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An ‘Ethics Commissioner’ without ethics: welcome to Australia

An ‘Ethics Commissioner’ without ethics: welcome to Australia

Yesterday, Thursday I received a phone call from Captain Fred Martens, the man who spent a 1,000 days in jail, having been wrongly convicted of an offence under Australia’s Child Sex Tourism Laws. His conviction was later quashed by the Queensland Court of Appeal (“QCA”). At all times Captain Martens has maintained his innocence. Captain Martens has further maintained that he was a victim of a corrupt Australian Federal Police ...

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Corporate crimes against humanity a product of our global economy

Corporate crimes against humanity a product of our global economy

Crimes against humanity, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions — all of those human rights norms are defined by actions. They’re not defined by whether the perpetrator is a human being or a corporation or another kind of entity. Paul Hoffman representing the 12 Nigerian petitioners in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum The issue in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum an issue central to the lives of many indigenous people ...

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Human dignity and the idea of justice, part 1

Human dignity and the idea of justice, part 1

The idea of human dignity consists in recognizing that man is a being that has ends proper to himself, his own ends, to be freely complied with by himself. Or putting it in other words, maybe clearer, man ought not to be treated as a mere means for ends which are not his own, which are strange or alien to him for ends which do not belong to him. Although ...

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The Jayapura Five: Our choices and actions do affect the lives of others

The Jayapura Five: Our choices and actions do affect the lives of others

Little fly, Thy summer’s play My thoughtless hand Has brushed away. Am not I A fly like thee? Or art not thou A man like me? For I dance And drink and sing, Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing. If thought is life And strength and breath, And the want Of thought is death, Then am I A happy fly, If I live, Or if I die. William ...

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Racism and the politics of power

Racism and the politics of power

Racial classification today is commonplace; people routinely catalogue each other as members of this or that race, and seem to assume that everyone can be thus classified Bernard Boxill, “Introduction” in Bernard Boxill, editor, Race and Racism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 1. While Boxill’s statement is seemingly self-evident and benign, it’s very ordinariness conceals something much more sinister. Once we begin routinely cataloguing one another we leave open the ...

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Am I not a man and a brother: A campaign for someone else’s rights

Am I not a man and a brother: A campaign for someone else’s rights

In the late afternoon of May 22, 1787, a group of a dozen men officially assembled at James Phillips’ bookstore and printing shop located at 2 George Yard, London. While the bookstore and printing shop have been replaced by a modern glass and steel building, home of Adelphi Capital, the idea that 2 George Yard gave birth to lives on. ‘Lives on’ is perhaps not the right phrase for the ...

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Genocide in West Papua, collective responsibility and the role of Ernst & Young

Genocide in West Papua, collective responsibility and the role of Ernst & Young

The TNI under Suharto was seen as different from other armies because: Indonesian army sees itself as quite different from other armies in the world, because it was never created as an instrument of the state, but was itself involved in the creation of the state. Thus the military considers itself the embodiment of Indonesian nationalism. In theory, it remains above the state, and technically does not consider itself answerable ...

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West Papua and the vote of no choice!

West Papua and the vote of no choice!

These feelings which we Cubans have already acquired will have to be shared by someday. Today it hurts us if a Cuban is hungry, if a Cuban has no doctor, if a Cuban child suffers or is uneducated, or if a family has no housing. It hurts us even though it’s not our brother, our son, or our father. Why shouldn’t we feel hurt if we see an Angolan child ...

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Lost Sovereignty; a disgraced judge and a kidnapped Attorney-General

Lost Sovereignty; a disgraced judge and a kidnapped Attorney-General

Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty is both famous and obscure. A twentieth-century political theory, containing two canonical sentences: “Sovereign is he who decides on the exception” and “All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts.” These statements are regurgitated by contemporary political and legal theorists time and again. Standing alone, Schmitt’s statements are both puzzling and shocking. Schmitt’s ...

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The symbol of belonging

The symbol of belonging

On the request of a friend, this post offers some insights as to why someone would wish to burn the Australian flag as an act of protest. The events in Canberra on the day commemorating the arrival of the first European settlers in Australia widely known as Australia Day have provided the media with no end of racial and political fodder. I spent some time reading comments on Yahoo!7, including: ...

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Ernst & Young and the Diversity Council of Australia

Ernst & Young and the Diversity Council of Australia

Employers have a legal responsibility to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent harassment and discrimination occurring in the workplace. Employers may also be held ‘vicariously liable’ for the actions of their partners, colleagues, employees, agents or contract workers. Employers must also ensure that people who make a complaint, or are involved in a complaint in any way, are not victimised or treated less favourably as a result. For an employer to ...

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Ernst & Young, the silence is deafening!

Ernst & Young, the silence is deafening!

Following is a response to the statement published by Ernst & Young. People with things to hide generally sneak around, aiming to placate those who can advance their situation. They avoid speaking to the victim of their wrong doings, unless it is to inflict further hurt and they certainly never admit to having been wrong in the first place. These are the hallmarks of a narcissist. They are also the ...

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FMGL versus YAC – is the truth really out there

FMGL versus YAC – is the truth really out there

As most readers of Blak and Black, indeed as most readers of any daily paper in Australia will be aware there has been an ongoing dispute between Fortescue Metals Group Limited (FMG) and two affected Aboriginal groups – the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) and the Wirlu-murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (WYAC) – over FMGL’s Solomon Hub mine in the Pilbara. The arguments center on cultural significance versus corporate greed. Adding confusion ...

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Longing for a good neighbour

Longing for a good neighbour

‘Poetry, like the law, is a fiction’, wrote William Hazlitt in a critical essay of 1816. Hazlitt the critic took as his subject all aspects of his society’s culture, including the connections between law, literature and power. He analysed the rhetoric of the lawyers and the legislative acts of politicians as products of a legal imagination comparable with the literary imagination of the poets. He examined the effects of those ...

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Canberra Corrupt: Aboriginal Australians Not Welcome

Canberra Corrupt: Aboriginal Australians Not Welcome

The ACT Government isn’t so much corrupt as it is immoral – Senior ACT Public Servant I had lunch in Canberra yesterday with Paul, a former colleague from my public service days, who had naively made the transition from the Australian Public Service (APS) to the ACT Public Service (ACTPS) a few years ago. Over the course of an extended and convivial lunch we happened upon the topic of the ...

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What values do we want to bequeath to our children?

What values do we want to bequeath to our children?

There are many reasons behind Blak and Black’s decision to attempt to identify and expose Australian Federal Police (AFP) corruption where we can, the main reason however is the relative power even the most junior AFP Constable has over an ordinary citizen; power that seems to be magnified when the AFP operate extra-territorially, What happened to Captain Fred Martens, Mr Julian Moti QC, the Solomon’s triumvirate and the Sogavare Government itself ...

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Have the AFP been busted, yet again?

Have the AFP been busted, yet again?

I have been arguing since 1996 that it is unlikely that David Eastman is responsible for the murder of Colin Stanley Winchester APM (18 October 1933 – 10 January 1989). Winchester was an Assistant Commissioner in the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and commanded ACT Police, the community policing component of the AFP responsible for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). On 10 January 1989, at about 9:15 pm he was shot ...

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Aborigines and the Australian Justice System

Aborigines and the Australian Justice System

For very many Aboriginal Australians the phrase ‘Australian justice system’ is an oxymoron. There are any number of reasons, many of which are justified, why we as Aboriginal Australians think of the Australian ‘just-us’ system as being exactly as it says, a system that is just for us, which if you are an Aboriginal only serves to further entrench your marginalization. The following exchange between a Canberra based public prosecutor ...

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Damning difference - the start of the slippery slope

Damning difference – the start of the slippery slope

A few months back I penned an article about the plight of Marlon Noble, an Indigenous intellectually disabled man consigned to the correctional justice system for a crime of dubious veracity. One commenter has recently left a reply arguing that Mr Noble’s plight is more related to that of his handicap, than one of colour. I disagree, although it is certainly part of the issue and one that challenges more ...

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