ABC Radio Interview: Fitness Industry Research Shows Surprising Results

February 17, 2014

Recent hospitalisation of 25-year old, Gold Coast resident Shanteece Smith, following a personal training session, sparked in interest in research on legal risk management of adverse health outcomes and injury in the fitness industry.

Following her training session, Ms Smith suffered rhabdomyolysis, a condition which causes the body’s muscles to break down and release muscle fibre into the body’s bloodstream.

ABC Gold Coast’s Nicole Dyer recently interviewed Professor Patrick Keyzer, Director of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy and Lead Investigator of the team’s national research study.  Nicole asked what concerns Professor Keyzer has about the way the fitness industry operates.

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Is The Public Interest Served By Public Broadcasting?

February 7, 2014

By MARCUS BREEN, Professor of Communication and Media, editor of the International Journal of Technology Knowledge and Society, and member of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

In the past couple of  months several news articles and print media discussion pieces have assessed moves against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) the national public broadcaster. Late in January, the ABC’s journalism was called into question by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, for its coverage of refugees seeking to escape into Australian territorial waters from Indonesia. Abbott statementsIt was a nationalist-centric set of comments that is notable for the way it coinstructs the ABC role as one that offers preferential reportage of Australian interests:”Prime Minister Tony Abbott has berated ABC News, arguing that it is taking ”everyone’s side but Australia’s” and that journalists should give the navy the ”benefit of the doubt” when it comes to claims of wrongdoing.”

Following this outburst, and a somewhat less subtle one last year from Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who asked if teh ABC was promoting the national interest. Bishop the role of public broadcasters has become a hot target for conservatives. The ideals of a public broadcaster like the ABC are independence and criticism, hallmarks of the modernist model of society.
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The Fragility Of Liberty In Australia

January 21, 2014

By PATRICK KEYZER, Professor of Constitutional Law.

Last week the Queensland Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie MP, decided not to appeal two decisions of the Queensland Court of Appeal, handed down on 6 December last year, striking down the Criminal Law Amendment (Public Interest Declarations) Act.

The Public Interest Declarations Act, enacted on 17 October 2013, was the latest in a decade of reforms to the law governing the preventive detention of serious sex offenders.

The Act authorized the Attorney-General to “request” the Governor of Queensland “in Council” to make a “public interest declaration” that a sex offender released from detention by the Queensland Supreme Court or the Queensland Court of Appeal should be returned to prison if it was in the public interest to do so.

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The Attorney-General Learns About The Separation Of Powers

January 16, 2014

By PATRICK KEYZER, Professor of Constitutional Law.

On 18 October last year I tweeted that the Criminal Law Amendment (Public Interest Declarations) Act was unconstitutional.

For those of you who haven’t been following this debate, or haven’t been following it closely, on 17 October 2013 the Newman Government enacted legislation that authorised the Queensland Attorney-General (at present, Jarrod Bleijie), to ask the Governor to make a “public interest declaration” that a sex offender released from detention by the Queensland Supreme Court or the Queensland Court of Appeal should be returned to prison if it was in the public interest to do so.

Just repeating that for emphasis: a politician could have the Governor (who in our tradition of responsible government must act on the advice of that politician) to send a person back to prison when they have been released by a court.

In short: this law would allow a politician to send a person to prison.

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Surveillance And Investigative Reporting: How Would Deep Throat Stay Anonymous Today?

May 7, 2013

By MARK PEARSON, Professor of Journalism and Social Media and member of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

We might support shield laws for journalists and bloggers but the actual practicalities of protecting confidential sources are a huge challenge for journalists in the modern era.

It’s of little value having a shield law to excuse a journalist revealing the identity of a whistleblower in court if litigants or government agencies have already been able to detect them using the surveillance regime that is ubiquitous in modern society.

It prompts the serious question: Could the Watergate investigation by the Washington Post three decades ago happen in the modern era? How long would Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s White House source ‘Deep Throat’ (senior FBI  official Mark Felt) remain anonymous today?

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Fifteen Minutes To Help Change The Face Of The Fitness Industry

May 3, 2013

AFIRM Logo

In conjunction with Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia, the AFIRM team is set to undertake a nationwide survey of the fitness industry concerning risk management practices.

Participate and Win!
The anonymous survey can be completed by fitness professionals who are either casual, part-time, full-time, managers, self-employed and/or owners.  Fitness industry professionals completing the survey go into the draw to win a return airfare, accommodation and ticket to Fitness Australia’s industry breakfast and forum in Sydney in October.  The runner-up will receive an iPad.

If you’re a fitness industry professional keen to have your say and help change the face of the Australian fitness industry, don’t delay, be part of this ground-breaking research project and complete the online survey today. Surveys must be completed by 21 June.

Click here to take the survey


Call For Uniform Shield Laws Is Worth Supporting, But Not An Easy Fix

May 1, 2013

By MARK PEARSON, Professor of Journalism and Social Media and member of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

Five Australian journalists face possible contempt charges for refusing to reveal the identity of their sources in court.

The journalists’ union – the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance – has quite rightly called for the introduction of uniform shield laws for journalists throughout Australia.

Australia’s attorneys-general managed to reach agreement on uniform defamation laws in 2005, and it is within their power to bring some sanity to the differing shield laws at federal level and in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.

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