2015 - Vol 40(2) - Questions of Fairness

AltLJ40-2-cover-150

Good faith, bad faith

Youth+Laws

Addressing violence

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Political finance law in Queensland

Graeme Orr
Article

Orr-Political-Finance-Law-150One step forward, two steps back

Principles and political footballs

Democratic politics needs resources, including money. But money tends to corrode democratic politics. These two truths are in tension; regulation is needed to reduce that tension. Besides the reality that parties need resources, small scale private donations are a form of political association. Larger pools of money can also be a way for ideological or other interest groups to practically exercise freedom of expression.

(2015) 40(2) AltLJ 77

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War games, sex and Uncle Sam’s umbrella

Stephen Gray
Article

Gray-War-Games-150Will Australian courts try US Marines who commit crimes on Australian soil?

In November 2011, while on Australian soil, United States (‘US’) President Barack Obama announced that the US would expand its military presence in Darwin. This announcement swiftly translated into a joint press release as a ‘force posture initiative’ designed to ‘enhance defence cooperation between Australia and the United States’. It meant, in practice, the initial rotation of 250 US Marine Corps (‘USMC’) personnel through the Northern Territory (‘NT’) in 2012 and 2013; in March 2014 there were 1000 Marines, with up to 2500 personnel expected by 2016–7. Otherwise scarcely debated in Australia, the military expansion led former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to argue that Australia should withdraw from the Australia, New Zealand, United States (‘ANZUS’) Security Treaty and its US military alliance. In a joint press conference in Darwin, however, the announcement was sprinkled with jokes from the US Ambassador and the NT Chief Minister about ‘hooking up to a barramundi’ and the merits of American versus Australian beer.1

(2015) 40(2) AltLJ 82

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Words can never hurt me?

Amanda Porter
Article

porter-words-can-never-150Sticks, stones and section 18C

Recent terrorist attacks in Paris have sparked renewed debate about the appropriate limitations on freedom of speech in Australia. In the aftermath of these events, some political commentators have called into question the desirability of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth).1 Specifically, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson has stated that a publication like French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, would be ‘shut down’ in Australia under section 18C. Elsewhere, Michael Sexton decried that ‘those who say they are Charlie should support changes to 18C’. They join Andrew Bolt, Cory Bernardi and Joe Kelly who have similarly argued that publications such as Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t be permitted because of section 18C.

(2015) 40(2) AltLJ 86

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The adventures of good faith

Jessica Viven-Wilksch
Article

good-faith-150-skCan legal history and international developments provide guidelines for Australia?

Good faith is a boundary-less principle. From Roman times to the present day, good faith has been translated, interpreted and debated across boundaries. It is an expression forming part of the common vocabulary and is embedded in many languages. Dynamic and flexible, it has travelled in time and space. From the early days of the Roman Empire up to the 21st century, in the European Union and beyond, the doctrine was meant to travel. Not only has it travelled through time to become one of the flagship concepts of civil legal systems; it has also transcended boundaries through its recognition in common law countries and beyond.1 Good faith is a veritable globetrotter.

(2015) 40(2) AltLJ 89

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Extending unfair contract term provisions for standard form contracts to small businesses

Patrick van Esch
Article

In August 2008, agreement was reached by the relevant Consumer Affairs Ministers as part of the Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs (‘MCCA’) to implement national unfair contract laws. Such a proposal stemmed from the recommendations borne out of the Productivity Commission Review. In October 2008, and founded on the MCCA’s proposal, the Council of Australian Governments (‘COAG’) agreed to create a national law addressing unfair contract terms.1

(2015) 40(2) AltLJ 93

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