law & crime

law & crime November 20, 2021

Why all Australian states should have affirmative consent laws

In 2013, when I was 18 years old, I was sexually assaulted behind a nightclub in Sydney’s Kings Cross. The second trial of my case ended with an outcome that seems like it shouldn’t have been possible: the court acknowledged that I had not consented...

law & crime November 6, 2021

Crown has grown into a monster and must be split up

Back in 1997, when Crown casino opened its massive Southbank “entertainment centre”, I was possibly its best-known public critic. Neil Mitchell invited me to take a walk around the gleaming new palace and then drop in for a chat at the 3AW studio in...

law & crime August 28, 2021

Remembering my lost friend Kate

It was a Saturday when I found out Kate was gone. I was about to pick up the phone to call her, because I had not heard from her during the week. Chelsey had texted to tell me we needed to talk. The first half of the conversation was a blur. Earlier...

immigration August 21, 2021

Scott Morrison is stuck

Scott Morrison has an answer for everything and a solution for nothing. Like the neoliberalism of which his party was once so proud, he is all promise and no delivery. His press conferences have long been a masterclass in dictating the terms of...

law & crime July 17, 2021

Saving Tasmania’s Tarkine rainforest

What has happened to the Bob Hawke standard of prime ministerial courage, the one that saw him safeguard Australia’s environment and Indigenous heritage? Hawke’s first act as prime minister in 1983 was to save the Franklin River in Tasmania. In 1987...

law & crime July 10, 2021

The growth of digital surveillance

When Prime Minister Scott Morrison fronted up to the press conference to announce the outcome of Operation Ironside last month, he seemed even more pleased with himself than usual. Hundreds of alleged offenders had been charged and millions of...

defence July 3, 2021

Investigative reporting and defamation

The Ben Roberts-Smith case may be the greatest show in town, yet the consequences for the media defendants cannot be overstated. The future of investigative reporting is held in the balance. It may not yet have sunk in how significant the case is to...

immigration June 19, 2021

The Murugappan family and immigration detention

The decision to transfer one of the daughters of the Murugappan family to Perth Children’s Hospital sent shock waves across Australia and abroad. Growing public pressure forced the Australian government to release the whole family into Perth...

law & crime June 12, 2021

Bernard Collaery and Witness K

In Franz Kafka’s book The Trial the accused, Josef K, manages to arouse the court’s anger by loudly complaining about the absurdity of the proceedings and the accusation itself, if he could only understand it. The book is alternatively macabre and...

indigenous affairs June 5, 2021

The white business of Aboriginal art

It’s been almost 20 years since I wrote “Bell’s Theorem”, an essay about Aboriginal art and the Western systems that make it a white business. The essay finished with a simple observation: “There is no hope.” Well, have a look around us. The planet...

law & crime May 15, 2021

Defamation actions by politicians

Had Christian Porter carefully considered the sorry history of defamation actions brought by politicians against the media, he may have paused and pondered for longer. While few things are certain in life, in defamation actions all bets are off...