: Law & Culture

Law & Culture

Law and CultureIn our Law & Culture column, you will find original works of fiction, reviews of a wide range of publications — not just conventional legal texts — as well as broader cultural forms such as films, TV shows, CDs, DVDs, art exhibitions and so on. The column links in with the Alternative Law Journal’s focus on law for the disadvantaged, human rights law and law reform.

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Refugees And Asylum Seekers: Finding A Better Way

Michelle Blewett

Aus21 Refugees and asylum seekersBob Douglas and Jo Wodak (eds); Australia 21, 2013; 112 pp; $25 (paperback) or e-book available as free download — http://www.australia21.org.au/

Amid a barrage of incendiary rhetoric and populist policy on asylum seekers, this publication is a breath of fresh air. Twenty-five notable Australians hailing from diverse professional backgrounds — including the clergy, law, defence, medicine, media and public service — have united to insist that we find a better way to treat asylum seekers.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 66

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Profits Of Doom: How Vulture Capitalism Is Swallowing The World

Kate Galloway

Profits-of-Doom-smAntony Loewenstein; Melbourne University Press, 2013; 261 pages; $32.99 (paperback)

In this extensively researched book, journalist Antony Loewenstein takes the reader on a world tour. From the remotest parts of Australia — at the Curtin Immigration Detention Centre, Christmas Island and James Price Point, to Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and finally Haiti — Loewenstein prosecutes his argument that, worldwide, ‘vulture capitalism’ is thriving on the misery of those dispossessed and impoverished by disaster.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 66

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The Devouring Dragon: How China’s Rise Threatens The Natural World

Rowena Maguire

the-devouring-dragon-bookCraig Simons; Scribe, 2013; 304pp; $29.95 (paperback)

One nation that has captured the world’s attention is the People’s Republic of China (‘China’). China’s economic development is unprecedented with a staggering 66 million people being brought above the poverty line in the last

30 years, an undertaking envied by many developing nation governments. The size of the Chinese economy has almost doubled every seven years and life for many Chinese has significantly improved. This rapid economic development has however had serious ramifications for the Chinese and the global environment. Within China, this rapid growth has contributed to losses of biodiversity, wetlands and agricultural land. While at the international level, China has overtaken the United States as largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, and the growing wealth of its billion-person population is placing increased pressure and demand for natural and agriculture resources.

(2014) 39(1) AltLJ 65

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West Of Memphis

Bill Swannie

West-of-MemphisDirected by Amy Berg; starring: Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin; Universal Sony, 2012, 147 mins, DVD $19.99

Nothing causes public hysteria and outrage like the murder of a young child. When three 8-year-old boys mysteriously disappear from the small town of West Memphis in 1993, and their naked bodies are later found in an irrigation ditch, the town’s residents demand quick and severe punishment for those responsible. Further details emerge during the rushed investigation, such as marks on the boy’s bodies (including their genitals) which look like knife wounds. Rumours circulate in the town that the deaths were part of a satanic ritual involving the drinking of human blood.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 285

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Griffith REVIEW 40: Women & Power

Rachael Field

womenpowerEdited by Julianne Schultz; April 2013; paperback; $27.95

Griffith Review is increasingly known as an Australian literary journal that punches above its weight. Under the editorial guidance of founding editor Julianne Schultz, the Review offers an engaging mix of essays, memoir, reportage, short fiction and poetry on contemporary issues of concern and interest. Phillip Adams has said that the Review is ‘pretty much setting the agenda’, and The Weekend Australian claims it to be ‘essential reading’.

(2013) 38(4) AltLJ 284

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