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  Alternative Law Journal   (Australia)
  Volume 30, Number 2, April 2005
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  • Parliament and protection of rights

  • Articles
  • The Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT): Making a stand in the ACT
        Jon Stanhope
        This article describes the basic features of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) together with a summary of the impact of the Act on public decision-making and in recent decisions of courts and tribunals.
  • Bills of responsibilities: Is one needed to counter the 'excesses' of the Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT)?
        Lara Kostakidis-Lianos and George Williams
        This article examines the idea of Bills of Responsibilities, and in particular the Charter of Responsibilities Bill introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2004. That Bill is the first Bill of Responsibilities debated in an Australian parliament, if not in any parliament in the world.
  • Detention without trial: Is there no limit?
        Michael Head
        This article examines the expanded scope for Executive detention without trial in the light of recent decisions by the High Court. It raises concerns about the implications of these decisions, particularly in the context of the 'war on terrorism'.
  • Therapeutic jurisprudence: An emerging trend in courts of summary jurisdiction
        Michael S King and Kate Auty
        In November 2004 Western Australian country magistrates passed a resolution endorsing and seeking to apply the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence. This article argues that this resolution is the latest development in a national and international trend in court practice towards more comprehensive and therapeutic processes designed to promote justice system outcomes such as offender rehabilitation. Magistrates Courts are the principal venues for this development in Australia.
  • Preventive detention laws: High Court validates Queensland's Dangerous Prisoners Act 2003
        Anthony Gray
        This article critiques the High Court's recent validation of preventive detention laws. Such laws allow a person to be detained in prison after having completed their allocated jail term if, on application by an Attorney-General, the court believes there is a 'high degree of probability' that the offender would re-offend if released. The author has major concerns with such laws, and argues the 2004 decision of the High Court authorising such laws is inconsistent with the High Court's earlier decision in this area, out of step with the United States Supreme Court verdict on such laws, and assumes wrongly that it is possible with an acceptable degree of accuracy to predict future criminal behaviour. The article refers to current thinking in psychiatry circles on the predictability of future behaviour.
  • Human rights and the military: The 'chemical soldier'
        Jo Bird and Greta Bird
        This article explores the military use of mind-altering drugs, particularly amphetamines and the 'anti-remorse' pill, to create an enhanced soldier. The enhanced soldier may lack capacity for the moral reason required to establish the commission of war crimes. The authors argue that the human rights of the soldier are being infringed and international conventions and domestic laws must be strengthened to remedy this.

  • Briefs
  • Labour Law: Reconciling work and care responsibilities
        Jill Murray
        This brief is written from a labour law perspective and seeks to highlight some of the legal changes which may hold lessons for both labour law and social security law in Australia in the future.
  • France: Decline, decadence and demise of a legal system: the French example
        Antoine Bullier
        The Civil Code of the French (also known as the Napoleonic Code) was not drafted by Napoleon but, just like the Justinian Code, the Emperor put his stamp on the whole work. Because of this monument of legal scholarship France is still at the centre of the civil law system today. This brief discusses the decline in influence of the Code in the modern world.
  • Legal Education: Learning trial advocacy: an outsider's experience
        Tureen Afroz
        A Bangladeshi lawyer who has been working and studying in Australia relates what she has learned about trial advocacy in Australia.
  • United States: Requiring female employees to wear makeup not discriminatory
        A note on a recent case in the United States (Jespersen v Harrah's Operating, 28 December 2004, No. 03-15045). An employee was dismissed for refusing to wear makeup as required by her employer. The court held that the employer's policy that employees be 'well groomed, appealing to the eye, be firm and body toned, and be comfortable with maintaining this look while wearing the specified uniform' did not constitute unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex because it imposed equal burdens on both sexes. This note also summarises the dissenting view.