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  Alternative Law Journal   (Australia)
  Volume 31, Number 2, June 2006
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  • Opinions

  • Articles
  • Traditional hunting: Cultural rights v animal welfare
        Dominique Thiriet
        This article examines how the cruelty inherent in some Indigenous hunting practices is inconsistently treated under Australian animal protection legislation. The author considers the discrimination issues raised by such inconsistencies and the legitimacy of State intervention to resolve the conflicts between cultural rights of Indigenous communities and animal welfare standards. She discusses how community concerns can be addressed whilst preserving Indigenous peoples' right to self-determination.
  • The special wives' equity and the struggle for women's equality
        Tim Wright
        The special wives' equity established in Yerkey v Jones has been the subject of considerable academic and judicial critique. The author, in this article, examines the effect that the special equity has had, since its establishment, on women's struggle for 'equality'. He argues that reform to this area of contract law is long overdue, and he calls on the High Court, at first opportunity, to invoke a broader special equity for cases of third-party impropriety -- one that is founded not on rigid views of gender and outdated conceptions of wives, but on principle.
  • Where the norm is not the norm: The Department of Corrective Services and the Harm-U
        Neal Funnell
        This article seeks coherency in the policy and function of NSW's only supermax prison, the High Risk Management Unit at Goulburn Gaol. Its present use is compared with the vision of the NSW Premier and the Department of Corrective Services (the Department) at its inception in 2001-- the seemingly irreconcilable goals of harsh punitive sanctions and new age rehabilitation.
  • Access to justice in courts and tribunals: Residential Tenancies in New South Wales (1971-2001)
        Brendan Edgeworth
        This research has examined residential tenancy disputes before the courts since 1971, and compared the results with disputes before the Consumer, Trader and Tenancies Tribunal and its predecessors.
  • Women as 'members of a particular social group': some flexible judicial developments
        Udara Jayasinghe
        An examination of the interpretation of the definition of a refugee as defined under the Refugees Convention by Australian courts and the extent to which claims relating to sexual and gender based persecution have been considered as falling within that definition.
  • Military call-out powers expanded substantially: Some disturbing questions
        Michael Head
        After a perfunctory debate, the Commonwealth Parliament passed the Defence (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Act 2006 (Cth) in February 2006, considerably enhancing the federal government's powers to call out troops domestically. The bipartisan passage of the legislation, substantially expanding the military call-out powers first enacted in 2000, has amplified the concerns that this author raised previously about the possibility of a government using the armed forces against civilians on domestic soil. The changes allow the Australian Defence Forces to be called out far more easily and with unprecedented powers, including legally protected rights to kill people to protect 'critical infrastructure', shoot down aircraft, sink ships, interrogate civilians and seize documents.
  • Human rights reform in the United Nations: The good, the bad and the ugly
        Paula Gerber
        This article analyses whether abolishing the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and creating a new Human Rights Council is a step in the right direction in terms of improving the way the UN promotes and protects human rights.

  • Briefs
  • Law reform: The promise of the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act
        'Dejo Olowu
        While noting that the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act 2003 has not only liberalised New Zealand's sex industry, the author assesses the capacity of the Act to introduce transparency into the monitoring of the nation's sex industry and to facilitate the opportunity for more effective control and management of the industry and its incidental matters. It is too early to make an absolute pronouncement on whether the Act has achieved or is achieving its specified purpose. This article accentuates how the Act has significantly demystified the clandestine environment under which New Zealand's sex industry operated in the past. The Act has also allowed an even platform for policy action and the popular debate which may generate objective, analytical and transparent indices when the Act undergoes its mandatory review in a few years time.
  • Northern Territory: Where two worlds collide
        Jenny Blokland
        At the suggestion of representatives of the local Yolgnu community, the Northern Territory is conducting Community Courts in Northeast Arnhemland. The process reveals information on sentencing that might otherwise not be forthcoming at the intersection of two legal worlds. This Brief explores the issues surfacing in the formative period of Community Courts in a traditionally oriented setting.
  • Globalisation: The future for Qantas: Still calling Australia home?
        Andrew Clarke
        A critique of the recent decision by Qantas to close its Sydney maintenance plant: whilst it may be in the interests of shareholders, it is of concern for employees.
  • Legal system: Small claims, big implications: usability of legal systems in theory and practice
        Linda Leung
        The Brief discusses the author's personal experience of Small Claims Court. As a lecturer in information technology, the author draws from her expertise in analysing technical systems to examine issues of usability in legal processes. Writing as a 'user' rather than as a practitioner of law, the author applies usability criteria of visibility, feedback, error detection and recovery, ease and efficiency of use, to critically analyse her interactions with the legal system.

  • Column
  • Asia-Pacific: Will New Caledonia be another Tokelau? Autonomy or independence?
        David Marrani
        What if colonies do not want to become independent? The Asia-Pacific is a world scale laboratory to test this possibility. Tokelau just proved it right, but what if we are facing a colony of one of the European former imperial states, like New Caledonia for France?