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Foreign Influence Legislation

Labor and the Liberals have again stitched up a cosy deal to reduce people’s basic rights and freedoms, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“The foreign influence laws, even as amended, will impact on people’s freedom of speech and freedom of association,” Senator McKim said.

“It is yet another step down the dangerous path towards authoritarianism.”

“While we certainly need to guard against hostile foreign influence and interference, the old parties have rushed into a cosy deal which predictably gets the balance wrong.”

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Family Court merger

Delays in the Family Court system should be addressed by more funding for the courts, legal aid and community legal centres, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Families should have their cases resolved quickly and compassionately,” Senator McKim said.

“Unfortunately that is not happening because of overstretched courts, community legal centres and legal aid.”

“The Liberals urgently need to invest in these areas to help families in crisis move on and resolve their cases.”

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Dutton’s “papers please” plans must be resisted

Peter Dutton’s plans to demand documents from people at airports without justification must be resisted, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“People should be free to live without arbitrary harassment and being forced to carry ID wherever they go,” Senator McKim said.

“Demanding people produce documents on the spot is a hallmark of police states.”

“This is the slow march of authoritarianism. It starts in airports – how long until it’s random checks on the streets or in people’s homes?”

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Dutton's contempt for judicial independence and the rule of law

Peter Dutton's latest potshot at the judiciary shows an alarming contempt for the rule of law, Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim says.

"Dutton's suggestion of 'public reflection' is a step towards the direct election of judges - an alarming proposition for someone with as much unchecked power as him."

"Judges and magistrates should be independent experts in the law, not populist politicians."

"This is a dangerous erosion of the rule of law, and Malcolm Turnbull should finally bring his out of control minister to heel."

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Foreign interference laws

The Greens share the deep concerns of civil liberties groups and media organisations about the scale and scope of the Government's foreign interference and espionage laws.

"This legislation risks criminalising a wide range of actions which are not only legitimate, but for the common good," Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“These include medical and other academic research and public interest journalism.”

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OPCAT ratification must include offshore detention

The government's ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is welcome but the inspection regime must include Australia's offshore detention system, Greens Justice Spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"The government's decision to ratify OPCAT is an important and welcome human rights decision," Senator McKim said.

"It has the potential to improve conditions in, and oversight of, prisons and places of detention across Australia."

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Brandis fails in attempt to jail Queenslanders involved peaceful Pine Gap protests

Queensland Greens Senator Andrew Bartlett has welcomed the decision of a Federal Court Judge in Brisbane today not to jail six Queensland residents who engaged in peaceful protests at the Pine Gap Military Base.

The Federal government and Attorney-General George Brandis tried to escalate their charges using a draconian Cold War era law and urged the Judge to jail the protestors.

"Today marks a failed attempt by the Attorney-General and the Federal government to stifle the Pine Gap protestors' freedom of speech and freedom to express their religious beliefs.

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Labor and Liberal leaders sign away basic rights

Labor and Liberal leaders have abjectly failed to make the case for today’s COAG decision to sign away yet another tranche of hard-won rights and freedoms, Greens Justice spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Police and security agencies already have abundant powers to do their job and to arrest, interview and charge suspects,” Senator McKim said.

“The rights that the Labor and Liberal parties have eroded today are a crucial part of what set Australia apart from authoritarian regimes."

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