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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Australian Cultural Digital Facilitation: National Questions Of Culture-Commerce-Convergence

November 30, 2012

By MARCUS BREEN, Professor of Communication and Media and member of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy.

The Australian Federal Government’s Convergence Review together with the Cultural Policy Review have provoked questions about funding and continued public support for the cultural sector. Australian national interest is reflected in cross-party funding over many years for cultural institutions – Australian Film and Television / Screen Australia, Triple J, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and more recently support for new media and creative industries. (See for example It is a growing and complex set of demands that combines culture with commerce and convergence.

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Gillard Government Should Step Carefully With Its Push For Privacy Tort

September 28, 2012

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

A tort of privacy is on the agenda again, with the Gillard Government purportedly considering enacting such a right.

West Australian lawyer Ainslie Van Onselen has outlined many reasons why such a privacy tort could be dangerous to free expression in a democracy like Australia’s, but unfortunately her article is behind The Australian’s paywall, so I republish my earlier article and blog here for the benefit of students and researchers interested in that debate.

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