Tuesday, October 7, 2003

New A-G Ruddock has no regard for the independence of courts

Child abusers make good Attorney-Generals?

The new Federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, says he will defend the constitution and the separation of powers between the parliament and the judiciary.

But this is just the "rolling of the heads" because in his last portfolio as Immigration Minister he has detained immigrants including children, and two of those detainees have disabilities.

Ruddock was a critic of the courts in his role as Immigration Minister, after several high-profile cases went against the government. But he says he will not interfere in the workings of courts.

"The constitution and the respective roles deserve respect, the role of the parliament needs to be respected as much as the role of the courts, I respect both," he said.

But as immigration Minister Ruddock's respect fell short of human rights when he tried to stop appeals introducing the Pacific Solution which means if an illegal immigrant is picked up in Australian waters by our navey they are sent elsewhere for processing. If their application for asylum is rejected they can be deported without legal appeal in Australia.

Not much respect for the law in this country and not much respect in setting an example for the community as a politician.

And Ruddock has reaffirmed the Government's objection to the death penalty.

High Court Justice Michael Kirby earlier warned terrorism could spark further debate over capital punishment.

The Australian Government did not speak out against the death sentences given to three Bali bombers this year.

"I certainly take the view that in the context of Australia, the death penalty was abolished some time ago and I don't see any particular pressure to reintroduce it or to debate the issue," he said.

But Ruddock says the issue is not on the government's agenda.

Just like Justice for David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, I suppose. Unless you're on the agenda you're not Australian?

By Pacific Solution 7 October 03

THE COMMUNITY: The person who is our Federal Attorney General ought to be somebody who is independent and can make decisions in accordance with the law, instead of working out how to defeat the law in this country. That includes all Australians and not just some Australians.

Phillip Ruddock has not shown any remorse in the past, and having no respect for the law, therefore his choice as Attorney General is not in respect of the constitution, and or the separation of powers between the parliament and the judiciary.

Attorney General
by Tiu Fu Fong 5:22pm Tue Oct 7 '03 comment#35283

I think you're misunderstanding the role of the Fed. Attorney General. The AG is a member of the executive government, not the judiciary. Why is there any greater need for the AG to be independent than, say, the Federal minister for Arts or the Federal minister for trade?

It's a policy-based role ie the AG takes the Government's policies and translates them into legislation. Why should this role be performed on an independent basis? Re: criticisms of the Court - why can't politicians (or anyone else) criticise the courts? How exactly does it undermine the independence of the judiciary or constitute interference in the workings of courts (unless judges are fragile creatures who can't stand criticism and will crumble to the Government's view)?

The rules and conventions of Australia's constitutional system do not support your arguments ie the appointment is entirely consistent and within the 'rules' and Ruddock's previous actions, however morally odious, were also consistent with those rules. You'd do better arguing on a moral basis than on a constitutional rules-based basis.

The General of Attorneys
by Gregory Kable 11:54am Wed Oct 8 '03 comment#35295

The role of the Federal Attorney General is not to pander to the government but to uphold the law in this country, excuse me. Not to seek loopholes in the law or find ways to get around the law. This person should have human rights values unless he/she is and android.

Does Ruddock have them? Ask yourself that question in relation to asylum seekers. If you get a big no, then eat your executive words because they have no meaning.

Independent, meaning why should the AG pander to the government instead of upholding the law and human rights? Opposed to the view of the Government and the politicians who have no other ethics but to win an election, regardless of the law or human rights standards.

In reality the AG is a politician who is supposed to be impartial and objective in relation to the constitution and the rule of law, like any lawyer who has taken an oath. I.e. officer of the court. I think you're misunderstanding the role of the Federal Attorney General. We are not sheep or goats, that is why the AG, the Federal minister for Arts and the Federal minister for trade should be independent. A person, who is lawful and has morals, values principals and ethics, including human rights standards.

Re: criticisms of the Court- Why?

Because what the courts decide is the law. The same law as you or I have to be governed by. Therefore the judges who have more information and facts including mitigation and who have made a decision by interpreting the law set out by the parliament have drawn the line in the sand for all of us.

By then they have made an impartial and objective decision that should not be undermined or criticised by outsiders, whether they be politicians or dunny carters. Judged only by their peers. Anyone else including politicians would constitute interference in the workings of the courts and in breach of the Separation of Powers.

The rules and conventions like the rights of the child (detaining children) access to the law by asylum seekers (pacific solution) that veto these rights, do not support the law or human rights standards. The problem I have with Ruddock's previous behaviour, for and on behalf of the Australian government are and were, inconsistent with the law and human rights standards and you want this person to go on and now become the Federal Attorney General or General of Attorneys.

I argue both on the constitution and a moral basis. Furthermore that is what the article is about. Sorry if the truth hurts.


Judge renews child detainee release call
A Family Court judge, for a second time, has appealed to Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock to address the issue of children in detention.

Signs of the Times: Aggressive Scepticism
If anyone has known a schizophrenic then you may also know that it is because of some sound or picture that invaded their thoughts which sent them mad. So possibly, any invasion of my time with self, a time to integrate past experiences could send someone mad. However if there is no interference with our own thoughts and ideas we sometimes choose to write down our conclusions and share our ideas with others socially.

Civil Liabilities: Howard's diversity? I had a dream?
The war criminal, Prime Minister, John Howard, who only yesterday was claiming he was showing diversity has stepped up pressure on the states to support plans to increase the war criminal, Federal Attorney-General's powers to ban terrorist organisations, [scapegoats and patsies for the Coalition of the Killing's illegal and degrading resource wars in the Middle East.]

Ruddock to challenge Family Court ruling
Ruddock said it is unfortunate the Full Court of the Family Court made the decision. He said a successful High Court challenge could see the children returned to detention.

Children in Baxter Detention Centre: Tell me a fable...
Opponents vow to fight yesterday's Family Court ruling against the release of five children from South Australia's Baxter detention centre has strengthened the resolve of groups fighting the Federal Government's policy of detaining child asylum seekers.

Where did you say you reside Mr Carr?
New South Wales Premier Bob Carr says a protest outside Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock's Sydney home should have been called off for moral reasons. Mr Carr says people who want to protest against the Federal Government's immigration policies should do it in Sydney's CBD, not outside Mr Ruddock's home.

Three protesters tricked outside Ruddock's house
Protest organisers have been critical of police actions at a pro-refugee rally near Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock's Sydney home.

Australia: Child detention, tell me a fable...
Democrat's leader Andrew Bartlett wants all children in immigration detention centres released, in the wake of the Family Court refusal to put a stay on one of its landmark rulings.

Amnesty calls for release of children from detention centres
Human rights group Amnesty International is pressuring the Federal Government to immediately release children from detention centres in the wake of the latest report on detainee children.

Child detainees 'living in a nightmare', report finds
A report being released today documents disturbing evidence about mental health for children in detention centres. The report is a joint work by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, NSW University and NSW psychiatrists.

Demonstrators prepared for Baxter protest
Thousands of demonstrators will converged at Port Augusta in preparation for this weekend's expected protest at the Baxter detention centre.