Archive for the ‘legal’ Category

The disgraceful case mounted against Assange by a corrupt U.S. Department of Justice and their hired guns in Britain.

December 16, 2021

It is this institutional lying and duplicity that Julian Assange brought into the open and in so doing performed perhaps the greatest public service of any journalist in modern times.

JOHN PILGER: U.S. wins extradition appeal against Julian Assange, Independent Australia, By John Pilger | 11 December 2021,  ”…….. Miscarriage of justice is an inadequate term in these circumstances. It took the bewigged courtiers of Britain’s ancien regime just nine minutes on Friday to uphold an American appeal against a District Court judge’s acceptance in January of a cataract of evidence that hell on Earth awaited Assange across the Atlantic: a hell in which, it was expertly predicted, he would find a way to take his own life.

Volumes of witness by people of distinction, who examined and studied Julian and diagnosed his autism and his Asperger’s Syndrome and revealed that he had already come within an ace of killing himself at Belmarsh Prison, Britain’s very own hell, were ignored.

The recent confession of a crucial FBI informant and prosecution stooge, a fraudster and serial liar, that he had fabricated his evidence against Julian was ignored. The revelation that the Spanish-run security firm at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where Julian had been granted political refuge, was a CIA front that spied on Julian’s lawyers and doctors and confidants (myself included) — that, too, was ignored.

The recent journalistic disclosure, repeated graphically by defence counsel before the High Court in October, that the CIA had planned to murder Julian in London — even that was ignored.

Each of these “matters”, as lawyers like to say, was enough on its own for a judge upholding the law to throw out the disgraceful case mounted against Assange by a corrupt U.S. Department of Justice and their hired guns in Britain. Julian’s state of mind, bellowed James Lewis, QC, America’s man at the Old Bailey last year, was no more than malingering — an archaic Victorian term used to deny the very existence of mental illness. 

To Lewis, almost every defence witness, including those who described from the depth of their experience and knowledge the barbaric American prison system, was to be interrupted, abused, discredited. Sitting behind him, passing him notes, was his American conductor: young, short-haired, clearly an Ivy League man on the rise.

In their nine minutes of dismissal of the fate of journalist Assange, two of the most senior judges in Britain, including the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett (a lifelong buddy of Sir Alan Duncan, Boris Johnson’s former Foreign Minister who arranged the brutal police kidnapping of Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy) referred to not one of a litany of truths aired at previous hearings in the District Court.

These were truths that had struggled to be heard in a lower court presided over by a weirdly hostile judge, Vanessa Baraitser. Her insulting behaviour towards a clearly stricken Assange, struggling through a fog of prison-dispensed medication to remember his name, is unforgettable.

What was truly shocking on Friday was that the High Court Judges – Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde, who read out their words – showed no hesitation in sending Julian to his death, living or otherwise. They offered no mitigation, no suggestion that they had agonised over legalities or even basic morality.

Their ruling in favour, if not on behalf of the United States, is based squarely on transparently fraudulent “assurances” scrabbled together by the Biden Administration when it looked in January like justice might prevail.

These “assurances” are that once in American custody, Assange will not be subject to the Orwellian SAMs – Special Administrative Measures – which would make him an un-person; that he will not be imprisoned at ADX Florence, a prison in Colorado long condemned by jurists and human rights groups as illegal: “a pit of punishment and disappearance”; that he can be transferred to an Australian prison to finish his sentence there.

The absurdity lies in what the Judges omitted to say. In offering its “assurances”, the U.S. reserves the right not to guarantee anything should Assange do something that displeases his gaolers. In other words, as Amnesty International has pointed out, it reserves the right to break any promise.

There are abundant examples of the U.S. doing just that. As investigative journalist Richard Medhurst revealed last month, David Mendoza Herrarte was extradited from Spain to the U.S. on the “promise” that he would serve his sentence in Spain. The Spanish courts regarded this as a binding condition.

Medhurst wrote:

‘Classified documents reveal the diplomatic assurances given by the U.S. Embassy in Madrid and how the U.S. violated the conditions of the extradition. Mendoza spent over six years in the U.S. trying to return to Spain. Court documents show the United States denied his transfer application multiple times.’

The High Court Judges – who were aware of the Mendoza case and of Washington’s habitual duplicity – describe the “assurances” not to be beastly to Julian Assange as a “solemn undertaking offered by one government to another”. This article would stretch into infinity if I listed the times the rapacious United States has broken “solemn undertakings” to governments, such as treaties that are summarily torn up and civil wars that are fuelled. It is the way Washington has ruled the world, and before it Britain — the way of imperial power, as history teaches us.

It is this institutional lying and duplicity that Julian Assange brought into the open and in so doing performed perhaps the greatest public service of any journalist in modern times.

Julian himself has been a prisoner of lying governments for more than a decade now. During these long years, I have sat in many courts as the United States has sought to manipulate the law to silence him and WikiLeaks………….. https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/john-pilger-us-wins-extradition-appeal-against-julian-assange,15842

New files expose Australian govt’s betrayal of Julian Assange and detail his prison torment

November 21, 2021

The documents obtained by Tranter and provided to The Grayzone provide an unobstructed view of the Australian junior ally’s betrayal of one of its citizens to the imperial power that has hunted him for years. As Julian Assange’s rights were violated at every turn, Canberra appears to have been complicit. 

New files expose Australian govt’s betrayal of Julian Assange and detail his prison torment https://thegrayzone.com/2021/11/17/files-australian-julian-assange-prison/ KIT KLARENBERG· NOVEMBER 17, 2021

Documents provided exclusively to The Grayzone detail Canberra’s abandonment of Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, and provide shocking details of his prison suffering

Was the government of Australia aware of the US Central Intelligence Agency plot to assassinate Julian Assange, an Australian citizen and journalist arrested and now imprisoned under unrelentingly bleak, harsh conditions in the UK? 

Why have the country’s elected leaders refused to publicly advocate for one of its citizens, who has been held on dubious charges and subjected to torture by a foreign power, according to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer? What does Canberra know about Julian’s fate and when did it know it?

The Grayzone has obtained documents revealing that the Australian government has since day one been well-aware of Julian’s cruel treatment inside London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison, and has done little to nothing about it. It has, in fact, turned a cold shoulder to the jailed journalist despite hearing his testimony of conditions “so bad that his mind was shutting down.”

Not only has Canberra failed to effectively challenge the US and UK governments overseeing Assange’s imprisonment and prosecution; as these documents expose in stark detail, it appears to have colluded with them in the flagrant violation of an Australian citizen’s human rights, while doing its best to obscure the reality of his situation from the public. 

On knowledge of CIA plot against Assange, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs issues snide non-denial denial

In the wake of Yahoo News’ startling September revelations of CIA plans to surveil, kidnap, and even kill WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, which confirmed and built upon a May 2020 exposé by The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal, officials in the NATO-oriented ‘Five Eyes’ global spying network struggled to get their stories straight.

William Evanina, Washington’s top counterintelligence officer until his retirement in early 2021, told Yahoo the Five Eyes alliance was “critical” to Langley’s dastardly plot, and “we were very confident” that Julian’s potential escape from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London could be prevented, by hook or by crook.


When asked
 whether the US had ever briefed or consulted the government of Julian’s native Australia on the operation, however, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) dodged the question. For his part, Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister at the time of these deadly deliberations, claimed, “the first I heard about this was in today’s media.”

It is certainly possible that elected officials in Canberra were kept in the dark about the CIA’s proposals. Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was unaware of the very existence of Five Eyes until 1973, 17 years after his country became a signatory to the network’s underpinning UKUSA agreement, following police raids on the offices of domestic spying agency the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, due to its withholding of information from the government.

Whether or not Turnbull was aware of the operation, DFAT’s response when a member of Julian’s family contacted the Department demanding Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne ask the Biden administration to drop the charges against him, and seeking comment on the Yahoo article, was disturbingly flippant.

“Just because it’s written in a newspaper doesn’t mean it’s true…the CIA has been accused of a lot of things, including faking the Moon landing,” a DFAT official quipped in a classic non-denial denial.

These crude remarks were recorded in a letter sent to Payne by John Shipton, Julian’s father. The missive is just one of many documents provided exclusively to Grayzone by Kellie Tranter, Julian’s legal authority in Australia.

Whether or not Turnbull was aware of the operation, DFAT’s response when a member of Julian’s family contacted the Department demanding Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne ask the Biden administration to drop the charges against him, and seeking comment on the Yahoo article, was disturbingly flippant.

“Just because it’s written in a newspaper doesn’t mean it’s true…the CIA has been accused of a lot of things, including faking the Moon landing,” a DFAT official quipped in a classic non-denial denial.

These crude remarks were recorded in a letter sent to Payne by John Shipton, Julian’s father. The missive is just one of many documents provided exclusively to Grayzone by Kellie Tranter, Julian’s legal authority in Australia.

For years, Tranter has filed freedom of information requests with the Australian government in a campaign to uncover its true position on Julian, and to what extent its intimate alliance with Washington has limited its ability or willingness to push for his freedom.

The documents acquired by Tranter expose Canberra as anything but an advocate for Assange, the Australian citizen. Instead, throughout Julian’s time in the Ecuadorian Embassy, and imprisonment at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in Belmarsh high security prison – “Britain’s Gitmo” – the Australian government has been determinedly committed to seeing, hearing, and speaking no evil in his regard, despite possessing clear evidence of his dramatically waning physical and mental health, and the torturous conditions of his confinement.

Assange informs Canberra of US violations of his rights: ‘This action was illegal’

The records of a brief visit by Australian consulate officers to Belmarsh on May 17th 2019, one month after Assange’s dramatic expulsion from the Embassy, are especially illustrative of Canberra’s attitude. Over the course of that meeting, Assange spoke in detail about prison conditions and his 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement.

“He remains in his cell most of the day, with 40 minutes allocated each day for ‘associations’,” the Australian consular officials noted. “He is allowed outside for 30 minutes each day, although he said at times this does not happen,” for reasons unstated. Unable to eat at all “for a long period,” he was now ingesting “small amounts”, collecting meals from the kitchen and returning to his cell.

Permitted just two personal visits each month, plus legal consultations, Assange mentioned his recent meeting with Nils Melzer and two medical experts specialized in examining potential victims of torture and other ill-treatment, and that he had so far been unable to speak to his family.

The WikiLeaks co-founder eschewed work programs “which would afford him the opportunity to get out of his cell more often,” according to the diplomats, on the grounds that he refused to engage in “slave labour” and needed time to prepare his legal case. Prisoners in British jails earn an average of $13 per week for hard, thankless toil on behalf of big business, which in turn profits immensely from their rank exploitation.

While mercifully prescribed antibiotics and codeine by prison doctors for an infected root canal, which can be life-threatening in the event the infection spreads, Assange was still waiting on reading glasses and had yet to see an optometrist. The jailed journalist went on to describe how one senior officer “has it in for me,” showing his visitors a charge sheet indicating that a search of his cell uncovered a razor blade, and he’d failed to tidy it after an inspection. 

A third infraction of any sort “would result in exercise privileges being withdrawn,” the document states. Possibly fearing reprisal, Assange asked that officials not raise these matters with prison authorities. Evidently, what might typically be considered an unambiguous indication of suicidal intentions was instead logged as a simple disciplinary matter.

Adding to his psychological toll, Assange reported that he had undergone blood tests, and been advised he was HIV-positive, a shocking diagnosis. However, subsequent examinations confirmed the test result to be a false positive, forcing Assange to wonder if the misdiagnosis was a mere error, or “something else.” It could well have been a grotesquely sick mind game, perhaps alluding to the bogus sexual assault allegations he had faced in Sweden, and intended to drive him toward madness.

Assange also presented the Australian consular officials with a recently-published UK Home Office deportation notice, informing him then-Secretary of State Sajid Javid had determined under the 1971 UK Immigration Act that his presence in the UK “was not conducive to the public interest, and he would be removed from the UK without delay,” with no chance of appealing the decision.

“Mr. Assange expressed concern about surviving the current process and fears he would die if taken to the US. He claimed the US was going through his possessions that had remained at the Ecuadorian Embassy. He said that this action was illegal,” the officers wrote. “He stated that his possessions included two valuable artworks he planned to sell to raise funds for his legal defence, the manuscripts of two books, and legal papers. He expressed concern his legal material would be used against him by the US.”

Assange was correct that sensitive documents were stolen by US authorities. Immediately following his arrest, his attorney Gareth Peirce contacted the Ecuadorian Embassy regarding this privileged material, demanding it be handed over as a matter of urgency. When at last his property was collected, all legal papers were missing save for two volumes of Supreme Court files “and a number of pages of loose correspondence,” making his extradition defense an even greater challenge than it already was.

Over the course of Julian’s initial extradition hearings in early 2020, assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Gordon Kromberg implausibly pledged a “taint team” would excise material from these files so it would not be used in any resultant trial. Similarly feeble “assurances” of this ilk were offered during the recent appeal proceedings.

Conversely, there has so far been no unconvincing public guarantee against the abuse of any information illicitly obtained by UC Global, a CIA contractor, from its extensive surveillance of the Embassy. The Spanish private security firm went as far as bugging the building’s female bathroom, where the WikiLeaks founder conducted discussions with his lawyers, away from prying ears and eyes – or so he hoped.

Despite his situation, Julian somehow retained a vague shred of optimism about the future in discussions with consular officials, suggesting that the result of Australia’s federal election, which was held the very next day, “may present a window for a new government to do something supportive for his case,” asking that Marise Payne be briefed on developments.

As it was, Scott Morrison’s Liberal National Coalition retained its grip on power – and no alarm was publicly raised about anything learned over the course of the consular visit. Indeed, remaining tight-lipped on Julian’s suffering, no matter how horrendous, was to be a matter of dedicated policy.

Australia’s DFAT denies any role in “progressively severe abuse” of Assange

On May 30th that year, WikiLeaks’ made the shock announcement that Julian had been moved to Belmarsh’s medical ward, expressing “grave concerns” about the state of his health. Almost immediately, DFAT’s Global Watch Office fired off an internal email drawing attention to the post.

The following day, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Nils Melzer proclaimed “the collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!” The international legal veteran added that, “in 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution,” he had “never seen a group of democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”

Next, Melzer fulminated against a “relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation” by the US, UK, Sweden and Ecuador, which had subjected him to “persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy.”

In response, Australia’s DFAT issued a statement rejecting any suggestion Canberra was “complicit in psychological torture or has shown a lack of consular support” in Assange’s regard, claiming to be “a staunch defender of human rights and strong advocate for humane treatment in the course of judicial processes,” and expressing confidence that he was “being treated appropriately.” 

Due to “privacy considerations” allegedly extended to all consular clients, the Department declined to divulge any further details related to his physical or mental state.

It added that the Australian High Commission in London “previously raised any health concerns identified with Belmarsh prison authorities and these have been addressed,” with further inquiries made following Julian’s move to the health ward. 

The documents provided to The Grayzone indicate Canberra did indeed make repeated enquiries to Belmarsh by phone and mail in the wake of Wikileaks’ announcement, all of which went unanswered for six straight days. So why did Australia’s High Commissioner not intervene, and demand immediate clarity on an issue of literal life-and-death urgency?

Whatever the reason for the Australian government’s foot-dragging, a consular file dated August 8th that year records how Shipton wrote to advise that Julian had been readmitted to Belmarsh’s sick bay, and a lawyer was drafting a letter to Marise Payne, requesting DFAT “use its diplomatic sources to seek an independent medical assessment (ie outside the prison).”


Then, 11 days later, Shipton mentioned that Julian’s brother, Gabriel, had recently visited the prison and was distressed by Assange’s “deteriorating condition,” leading him to write letters to both Australian Governor General David Hurley and Morrison raising his fears.

On October 21st, Assange appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing in his extradition case. As was widely reported in the mainstream media, he appeared frail and discombobulated, struggling to recall his own name and date of birth when asked by the judge. When the presiding justice enquired whether he even knew what was happening, Assange responded, “not exactly,” indicating conditions in Belmarsh left him unable to “think properly.”

“I don’t understand how this is equitable,” the imprisoned journalist stated. “I can’t research anything, I can’t access any of my writing. It’s very difficult where I am.”

Assange’s attorney, Mark Summers, argued that his initial extradition hearing, scheduled for February 2020, should be delayed by three months due to the complexity of the case – “the evidence…would test the limits of most lawyers,” he said, and discussed the immense difficulty of communicating with his client in the jail, given he lacked access to a computer. 

The judge denied the request. As a result, Julian would be deprived of “the most basic of access to the bare minimum needs for proper representation” until just weeks prior to the hearing.

Assange attorney warns Australia’s DFAT of “impending crisis”

Three days later, Assange attorney Gareth Peirce wrote to the High Commission, asserting that if consular representatives had attended court, “they will have undoubtedly noted what was clear for everyone present in court to observe” – that his client was “in shockingly poor condition…struggling not only to cope but to articulate what he wishes to articulate.” Unbelievably, a DFAT report on the proceedings unearthed by Tranter made no mention whatsoever of Julian’s disheveled appearance, or his clearly frayed mental state.

Peirce went on to argue that under the circumstances, it was unsurprising Julian had not authorized prison officials to provide the Australian government with information regarding his medical treatment, which had been “been grossly and unlawfully compromised over some time, including, disturbingly, even whilst he has been in Belmarsh prison, false information on at least one occasion having been provided to the press by very obviously internal sources.”

“We hope that what we are able to say…will be accepted by you as having been based on close observation, including by independent professional clinicians..Every professional warning provided to the prison, including by at least one independent doctor called in by Belmarsh, has been ignored,” she wrote. “We would be pleased to meet with you at any stage if by intervention in what is now an impending crisis [emphasis added], you can contribute to its amelioration and avoidance.”

And so it was that consular officials visited Belmarsh November 1st. In their exchange, Assange criticized false statements made to the media by DFAT which suggested he had rejected offers of their support. 

Next, he revealed that a prison doctor was “concerned” about his condition. In fact, Assange said his psychological state was “so bad that his mind was shutting down,” almost permanent isolation making it impossible for him “to think or to prepare his defence.” 

He did not even have a pen with which to write, was unable to do any research, could not receive documents during legal visits, and all his mail was read by prison officials before it was given to him.

The next month, Professor Michael Kopelman, emeritus professor of neuropsychiatry at King’s College London, prepared a report on Julian’s psychiatric state based on meetings throughout his first six months in Belmarsh, conversations with his parents, friends, colleagues and Stella Morris, his partner and mother of his two children. 

As was revealed in Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s January ruling on the US extradition request, Kopelman diagnosed Julian with a severe recurrent depressive disorder, which was occasionally accompanied by psychotic features such as hallucinations, and frequent suicidal thoughts.

His symptoms furthermore included loss of sleep and weight, impaired concentration, a persistent feeling of being on the verge of tears, and state of acute agitation in which he paced his cell until exhausted, punching his head or banging it against the wall. 

Assange commented to Kopelman that he believed his life was not worth living, he thought about suicide “hundreds of times a day,” and had a “constant desire” to self-harm or commit suicide, describing plans to kill himself that the professor considered “highly plausible.”

Calls to The Samaritans, a UK charity helpline providing emotional support to those in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide, were “virtually” a nightly occurrence, and on occasions when he had not been able to reach them, Assange had slashed his thigh and abdomen to distract from his sense of isolation.

Kopelman concluded that, if Assange was held in solitary confinement in the US for a prolonged period, his mental health would “deteriorate substantially resulting in persistently severe clinical depression and the severe exacerbation of his anxiety disorder, PTSD and suicidal ideas,” not least because various “protective factors” available to him in the UK would be absent Stateside.

“For example, he speaks to his partner by telephone nearly every day and, before lockdown, was visited by her and his children, various friends, his father, and other relatives…[Kopelman] considered there to be an abundance of known risk factors indicating a very high risk of suicide,” Baraitser recorded. “He stated, ‘I am as confident as a psychiatrist ever can be that, if extradition to the US were to become imminent, Mr. Assange will find a way of suiciding.’”

The professor’s reports were fundamental to the extradition order’s rejection – a surprising outcome, given Baraitser previously approved extradition in 96% of cases upon which she has ruled.

Nonetheless, she accepted every other argument and charge put forward by the Department of Justice, in effect criminalizing a great many entirely legitimate journalistic activities, and setting the chilling precedent that citizens of any country can be extradited to the US for alleged breaches of its national laws, therefore implying Washington’s legal jurisdiction is global in scale.

Files on Australia’s DFAT discussions with US Secretary of State redacted in full


In response to the ruling, Australia’s Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus issued a forceful statement, declaring the opposition Labor party believed “this has dragged on for long enough,” particularly given Julian’s “ill-health,” and demanding the Morrison administration “do what it can to draw a line under this matter and encourage the US government to bring this matter to a close.”

Conversely, DFAT published a characteristically laconic, soulless note, stating merely that Australia was “not a party to the case and will continue to respect the ongoing legal process,” and rehashing previous false claims that Julian had rejected multiple offers of consular assistance.

Canberra was simply silent when in June, the Icelandic publication Stundin revealed in detail how a “superseding indictment” levelled against Assange in September 2020, which charged that he and others at WikiLeaks “recruited and agreed with hackers to commit computer intrusions,” was based largely on the admittedly false testimony of fraudster, diagnosed sociopath and convicted pedophile Siggi Thordarson, who had previously embezzled vast sums from WikiLeaks and been recruited by the FBI to undermine its founder from within.

There is good reason to believe the Australian government knew the indictment was coming. In July that year, Foreign Minister Payne met with CIA director Mike Pompeo at an Australia–US Ministerial Consultations convention, “the principal forum for bilateral consultations” between the country and the US. 

Tranter submitted freedom of information requests for details of that rendezvous, but the documents she received in return were fully redacted. As were files released to her relating to the Foreign Minister’s summit with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in May 2021.

It was almost certain that Assange was a subject of these meetings. DFAT claims Payne “raised the situation” when she met Blinken again in September, and the minister herself alleges she specifically discussed Australia’s “expectations” regarding Assange’s treatment with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab when he visited Canberra in February 2020. Tranter requested records related to this meeting too, but was told none existed.       

Upon Julian’s arrest, Prime Minister Morrison alleged he would receive “the same treatment that any other Australian would get.”

“When Australians travel overseas and then find themselves in difficulties with the law, they face the judicial systems of those countries,” Morrison said. “It doesn’t matter what particular crime it is that they’re alleged to have committed, that’s the way the system works.”

However, an internal email dated April 5th 2019 secured by Tranter from the Australian Attorney General’s office was shot through with contempt for the Wikileaks co-founder. The note asserted, “FYI – Assange might be evicted. Not sure if his lawyers will make any (not very convincing) [emphasis added] arguments about Australia’s responsibilities to him but thought it was worth flagging.” 

As usual, Australian officials said nothing in public about Assange’s imminent abduction. 

Assange’s treatment, and the total lack of outrage over his incarceration, prison conditions, blatant procedural abuses engaged in by Washington in their relentless pursuit of him, and CIA plans to kidnap and/or murder the WikiLeaks founder, diverges starkly from Australia’s approach to Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian-British academic jailed in Iran for 10 years on questionable charges of espionage in September 2018.

Behind the scenes, Australian diplomats struggled for almost two years to secure her release, eventually brokering a prisoner swap, under which she was traded for three Iranian inmates in Thailand – two of whom were convicted in connection with a 2012 bombing plot in Bangkok. In a statement, Foreign Minister Payne expressed relief that Moore-Gilbert was finally free as a result of “professional and determined work,” noting Canberra had “consistently rejected” the grounds on which she was detained.

Meanwhile, the Australian government has consistently reinforced Washington’s position on Assange. In fact, officials have on occasion gone even further than their US counterparts in publicly condemning him and his actions.

In December 2010, then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard declared WikiLeaks’ release of US diplomatic cables meant Assange was “guilty of illegality,” and that Federal Police were investigating, to offer “advice about potential criminal conduct of the individual involved.” To be fair to Canberra though, elected representatives there may effectively have no choice in the matter.


According to
 investigative journalist Duncan Campbell, each Five Eyes member theoretically has the right to veto a request for signals intelligence collected on an individual, group or organization collected by another. However, Campbells explained, “when you’re a junior ally like Australia or New Zealand, you never refuse,” even in situations when there are concerns about what ostensible allies may do with that sensitive information.

The documents obtained by Tranter and provided to The Grayzone provide an unobstructed view of the Australian junior ally’s betrayal of one of its citizens to the imperial power that has hunted him for years. As Julian Assange’s rights were violated at every turn, Canberra appears to have been complicit. 

                               

Legal aspects of Kimba nuclear waste plan could embarrass the Australian government

February 10, 2021

KIMBA  COMMUNITY OPPOSITION TO National Radioactive Waste Management Facility

The decision by the High Court in the New Acland Coal case (1) was delivered only on Wednesday of last week but it is already creating a stir

In applying the rationale of that case to the Kimba situation the very marked difference is that its community members opposing the nuclear waste facility which is apparently made up of several groups including the Barngarla people suffered a much greater disadvantage than the objectors in the New Acland case as there was a real and actual bias at Kimba and not just an apprehension of bias 

This view has been expressed by several lawyers including retired judges to whom I spoke and it should be a very strong and decisive outcome which will mean that the government’s proposals for Kimba will be totally aborted

The other aspect of any litigation as to the Kimba situation is that all the information given by the government will now become subject to detailed scrutiny which will show up the the disingenuous statements by Pitt and the public servants involved including ANSTO and even ARPANSA

The same will apply to all the documents including internal minutes and notes which were either not previously disclosed or else highly redacted as they will have to be produced fully without the availability of any claim of privilege

I imagine that besides Pitt and Canavan being personally embarrassed it will make the government look silly and sneaky in its actions

I understand that the Kimba opponents are already considering an initial application to the Court to have their own impartial scrutiny and assessment of the government’s proposals to be paid for by the government

No wonder that lawyers are already queuing up to take this case on for the objectors as it should be an easy one with prolonged notoriety and no doubt with ultimately substantial costs against the government

Eat your heart out Erin Brockovich!

(1). Oakey Coal Action Alliance Inc v. New Acland Coal Pty Ltd & Ors

High Court Case No. B34/2020      Judgment:   3 February 2021

High Court ruling a helpful precedent for opponents of Kimba nuclear dump

February 5, 2021

Peter Remta. 4 Feb 21, The High Court’s decision in the New Acland Coal Mine case (1) delivered by Justice James Edelman on Wednesday and based on the principle of “apprehended bias” should give great heart to all the community members in Kimba opposing the government’s proposed nuclear waste facility.

The background of the appeal is that a Queensland community group known as Oakey Coal Action Alliance and representing more than 60 local residents and landholders who opposed the proposed expansion of the New Acland Coal Mine on the basis that it would destroy otherwise productive agricultural land appealed to the High Court to stop the expansion.

In its unanimous decision delivered by Justice Edelman the High Court ruled that due to the way the original hearings had been conducted leading to previous decisions made by earlier courts favouring the coal mine expansion had been affected by apprehended bias with the result that the Action Alliance had not “had its day in court” and that it had not had the opportunity to present all of its arguments.

The rationale of the decision based on the principle of “apprehended bias” as stated by Justice Edelman in delivering the Court’s  decision was that

“these matters are insufficient to justify the highly exceptional course of this court refusing a rehearing for a party whose hearing was decided other than independently and impartially. Indeed, it cannot be said that Oakey Coal Action has “had its day in court” or had lost all of its grounds before an independent and impartial tribunal”.

The Action Alliance had been represented by the Environmental Defenders Office on the appeal to the High Court and the Kimba community members opposing the nuclear waste facility should immediately seek the assistance of the Public Defender on the basis of that appeal.

(1). Oakey Coal Action Alliance Inv v. New Acland Coal Pty Ltd & Ors

High Court Case No.B34/2020

This description of the appeal is partly based on the report in RenewEconomy by Michael Mazengarb on 3 February 2021

https://reneweconomy.com.au/author/ michael-mazengarb/

Additional reading:

The litigation against the New Acland Coal Mine involved a major and lengthy hearing in the Land Court of Queensland, followed by judicial review, a subsequent appeal and High Court challenge the history of which is extremely well described on the website of Environmental Law Australia . http://envlaw.com.au/links/

This website is a free public service provided by Dr Chris McGrath, LLB (Hons), BSc, LLM, PhD, a barrister in Queensland practising in environmental law and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences  at the University of Queensland.  http://envlaw.com.au/links/

 

Senator to take legal action over Freedom of Information refusal to supply information on nuclear waste plan

December 17, 2020

Rex Patrick to ask SA Civil and Administrative Tribunal to reverse nuclear FoI refusal

An SA Senator will ask a court to decide whether his call for information on a nuclear waste facility should have been granted.  Advertiser –Matt Smith, December 16, 2020 – 

 South Australian senator Rex Patrick will tackle State Government lawyers after a Freedom of Information request concerning a nuclear waste facility was refused.

He will fight to overturn the decision in the SA Civil and Administrative Tribunal over what he describes as “a lack of transparency”.

Senator Patrick, pictured, said his FOI request was met with a “highly unusual” reminder from the Crown Solicitor’s office that if he were to fight the decision and lose he would be liable for costs.

He had asked for correspondence between Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan and the Federal Government concerning the establishment of a National Radioactive Waste Management Facility in SA.

“FOI in SA is a farce. Late responses, cavalier exemption claims, delayed review processes and now threats if you push a request beyond the control of the very government department seeking to hide information,” he said.

A government spokesman said: “While it would not be appropriate to comment on matters currently before SACAT, it’s worth noting that the tribunal and only the tribunal makes a determination on whether costs are awarded, and can do so if satisfied that there are statutory grounds to do so.

No decision has been made in this matter and, as such, no application for costs has been, or can be, made at this time.”

It was revealed this week that reviews of FOI requests are taking more than six months to complete.  SA Senator Rex Patrick takes nuclear FOI ‘farce’ to court | The Advertiser (adelaidenow.com.au)

See Senator Rex Patrick’s Face Book page post:

https://www.facebook.com/193047494589008/posts/836162363610848/

MINISTER DAN van HOLST PELLEKAAN RESORTS TO THREATS WHEN ASKED TO BE TRANSPARENT

In response to a request for transparency, Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan has outrageously instructed the Crown Solicitor to threaten me with costs.

Everything the SA Government does it does for public purpose and using SA taxpayer’s money. As such, South Australians are entitled to see all that the State Government does, admittedly with some exceptions.

I asked Minister van Holst Pellekaan’s office to provide me with correspondance between the State and Federal Government on the proposed National Radioactive Waste Management Facility at Kimba, using SA Freedom of information laws. At first he failed to respond to the request in the timeframe required by the law, then he made a decision that hid (presumably embarrassing) information from me.

I have asked SACAT, the State’s independent umpire, to review the Minister’s decision. Minister van Holst Pellekaan has now threatened me with “costs” if I proceed. That prompts two questions: 1) what’s he trying to hide and 2) if he’s prepared to threaten a senator seeking transparency, how would he treat a regular South Australian that reasonably requested information from him?

Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 8

September 13, 2020

Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 8, Craig Murray  September 10, 2020  The great question after yesterday’s hearing was whether prosecution counsel James Lewis QC would continue to charge at defence witnesses like a deranged berserker (spoiler – he would), and more importantly, why?

QC’s representing governments usually seek to radiate calm control, and treat defence arguments as almost beneath their notice, certainly as no conceivable threat to the majestic thinking of the state. Lewis instead resembled a starving terrier kept away from a prime sausage by a steel fence whose manufacture and appearance was far beyond his comprehension.

Perhaps he has toothache.

PROFESSOR PAUL ROGERS

The first defence witness this morning was Professor Paul Rogers, Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. He has written 9 books on the War on Terror, and has been for 15 years responsible for MOD contracts on training of armed forces in law and ethics of conflict. Rogers appeared by videolink from Bradford.

Prof Rogers’ full witness statement is here.

Edward Fitzgerald QC asked Prof Rogers whether Julian Assange’s views are political (this goes to article 4 in the UK/US extradition treaty against political extradition). Prof Rogers replied that “Assange is very clearly a person of strong political opinions.”

Fitzgerald then asked Prof Rogers to expound on the significance of the revelations from Chelsea Manning on Afghanistan. Prof Rogers responded that in 2001 there had been a very strong commitment in the United States to going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Easy initial military victories led to a feeling the nation had “got back on track”. George W Bush’s first state of the union address had the atmosphere of a victory rally. But Wikileaks’ revelations in the leaked war logs reinforced the view of some analysts that this was not a true picture, that the war in Afghanistan had gone wrong from the start. It contradicted the government line that Afghanistan was a success. Similarly the Wikileaks evidence published in 2011 had confirmed very strongly that the Iraq War had gone badly wrong, when the US official narrative had been one of success.

Wikileaks had for example proven from the war logs that there were a minimum of 15,000 more civilian deaths than had been reckoned by Iraq Body Count. These Wikileaks exposures of the failures of these wars had contributed in large part to a much greater subsequent reluctance of western powers to go to war at an early stage.

Fitzgerald said that para 8 of Rogers’ report suggests that Assange was motivated by his political views and referenced his speech to the United Nations. Was his intention to influence political actions by the USA?

Rogers replied yes. Assange had stated that he was not against the USA and there were good people in the USA who held differing views. He plainly hoped to influence US policy. Rogers also referenced the statement by Mairead Maguire in nominating Julian for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Julian Assange and his colleagues in Wikileaks have shown on numerous occasions that they are one of the last outlets of true democracy and their work for our freedom and speech. Their work for true peace by making public our governments’ actions at home and abroad has enlightened us to their atrocities carried out in the name of so-called democracy around the world.

Rogers stated that Assange had a clear and coherent political philosophy. He had set it out in particular in the campaign of the Wikileaks Party for a Senate seat in Australia. It was based on human rights and a belief in transparency and accountability of organisations. It was essentially libertarian in nature. It embraced not just government transparency, but also transparency in corporations, trade unions and NGOs. It amounted to a very clear political philosophy. Assange adopted a clear political stance that did not align with conventional party politics but incorporated coherent beliefs that had attracted growing support in recent years.

Fitzgerald asked how this related to the Trump administration. Rogers said that Trump was a threat to Wikileaks because he comes from a position of quite extreme hostility to transparency and accountability in his administration. Fitzgerald suggested the incoming Trump administration had demonstrated this hostility to Assange and desire to prosecute. Rogers replied that yes, the hostility had been evidenced in a series of statements right across the senior members of the Trump administration. It was motivated by Trump’s characterisation of any adverse information as “fake news”.

Fitzgerald asked whether the motivation for the current prosecution was criminal or political? Rogers replied “the latter”. This was a part of the atypical behaviour of the Trump administration; it prosecutes on political motivation. They see openness as a particular threat to this administration. This also related to Trump’s obsessive dislike of his predecessor. His administration would prosecute Assange precisely because Obama did not prosecute Assange. Also the incoming Trump administration had been extremely annoyed by the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence, a decision they had no power to revoke. For that the prosecution of Assange could be vicarious revenge.

Several senior administration members had advocated extremely long jail sentences for Assange and some had even mooted the death penalty, although Rogers realised that was technically impossible through this process.

Fitzgerald asked whether Assange’s political opinions were of a type protected by the Refugee Convention. Rogers replied yes. Persecution for political opinion is a solid reason to ask for refugee status. Assange’s actions are motivated by his political stance. Finally Fitzgerald then asked whether Rogers saw political significance in the fact that Assange was not prosecuted under Obama. Rogers replied yes, he did. This case is plainly affected by fundamental political motivation emanating from Trump himself.

James Lewis QC then rose to cross-examine for the prosecution. His first question was “what is a political opinion?” Rogers replied that a political opinion takes a particular stance on the political process and does so openly. It relates to the governance of communities, from nations down to smaller units……….  https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?fbclid=IwAR1SSVvRVbh8_y-5pargeR-U2E6JHQDcGUq_752VyejbktpjIbMY-g-MdnA

Professor Paul Rogers explained how the extradition case of Julian Assange is clearly political

September 10, 2020

Julian Assange clearly political, says extradition trial witness, https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/julian-assange-clearly-political-says-extradition-trial-witness/news-story/735ef7d40551d52f4f7f12d9d6c318d7      JACQUELIN MAGNAY, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT@jacquelinmagnay, THE TIMES, SEPTEMBER 10, 2020

Julian Assange’s nomination for the Senate during the 2013 federal­ election campaign and the establishment of the WikiLeaks political party the year before­ “clearly shows’’ the WikiLeaks founder has a political view and a libertarian standpoint, a witness has told the Old Bailey.

Professor Paul Rogers, the emeritus professor of peace studies at Bradford University, was called as a witness by Assange’s team to persuade the judge that Assange is being targeted for ­political means, and thus an extraditio­n to the US should not be permitted under the Anglo-US extradition treaty.

In day three of the court hearing where Assange, 49, is objecting to extradition to the US, Professor Rogers said in written testimony that Assange’s expresse­d views, opinions and activities demonstrate very clearly “political opinions”. He cited how Assange had formed the political party to contest­ the Australian general election and “central of this is his view to put far greater attention to human rights’’.

He added: “The clash of those opinions with those of successive US administrations, but in particular­ the present administration which has moved to prosecute him for publications made almost a decade ago, suggest that he is regarded primarily as a polit­ical opponent who must exper­ience the full wrath of government, even with suggestions of punishment by death made by senior officials including the current­ President.’’

But US prosecutor James Lewis QC said: “Assistant US Attorney­ Gordon D. Kromberg explicitly refutes that this is a political prosecution but rather an evidence-based prosecution.’’

In documents to the court, the prosecution says the inves­t­ig­ation into Assange had been ongoing before the Trump admin­istration came into office.

“Assange’s arguments are contradicted by judicial findings, made in the US District Court of the District of Columbia, that the investigation into the unauthorised disclosure of classified information on the WikiLeaks website remained ongoing when the present administration came into office,” the prosecution says.

Mr Lewis added: “If this was a political prosecution, wouldn’t you expect him to be prosecuted for publishing the collateral murder video?’’https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/julian-assange-clearly-political-says-extradition-trial-witness/news-story/735ef7d40551d52f4f7f12d9d6c318d7

He said Assange was being extradited to face charges relating to complicity in illegal acts to obtain or receive voluminous databases­ of classified inform­ation, his agreement and attempt­ to obtain classified information­ through computer hacking; and publishing certain classified documents that contained the unredacted names of innocent people who risked their safety and freedom to provide information to the United States and its allies, including local Afghan­s and Iraqis, journalists, religious leaders, human rights advocates, and political dissidents from repressive regimes.

Professor Rogers told the court the motivation of Assange and WikiLeaks was to achieve greater transparency and was political. The trial continues.

The Australian Government has no legal base to impose a nuclear waste dump on South Australia

July 4, 2018

The Minister claims a need for this dump is generated by civilian radioisotope production & not from military use – therefore it cannot be legitimised under auspices of the S.51(vi) Defence umbrella.

there is no legal base for the Commonwealth to enforce State acceptance of radioactive waste.

ENuFF-SA Examining Commonwealth Power to Enforce Nuke Dump – part 1, 4th July 2018

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LAW

  1. The 2015-16 $10+ million South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission found that: “The construction or operation of a facility for storage and disposal of nuclear waste, along with the importation or transport of nuclear waste, is unlawful in South Australia”. The amendment or repeal of the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 (SA) would therefore be required prior to any substantive progress being made in further developing any proposal.
  2. “ 1 The Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000 (SA)2 must be amended or repealed PRIOR TO ANY SUBSTANTIVE PROGRESS towards developing a radioactive waste facility in this State. 2.
  3. Portions of The Act which prohibit the establishment of nuclear waste storage facilities include:

S.8 against the construction or operation of such;

• S.9 making it illegal to import or transport nuclear waste, &

• S.13 “No public money to be used to encourage or finance construction or operation of nuclear waste storage facility”

S.13.1 also provides such prohibition “Despite any Act or law to the contrary ….”

  1. The newly elected Liberal Premier Steven Marshall has previously categorically stated: “A Marshall Liberal Government will not support the building of a nuclear waste repository in South Australia.“ 4 : & in answer to a February 2018 Election Survey the South Australian Liberal Party responded: “The Liberal Party supports the current Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000“ 5 .
  2. 4. To date (June 2018) the NRWMF-T has expended $40+ million of taxpayers PUBLIC MONEY towards: not only encouraging ‘local communities’ acceptance for a nuclear waste storage facility within South Australia; but also financing active on-site preliminary works deemed essential to constructing said facility. Clearly & brazenly contrary to State Law.
  3. 5. It would appear that the NRWMF-T has failed to investigate nor even consider any implications arising from the current prime facie unlawful nature of their actions. Numerous sham ‘community consultation’ medleys; Taskforce presence in the field, & radiopharma promotions. Myriad ANSTO propaganda tours of Lucas Heights; French des visiteurs; community grants; ORIMA & AECOM contracts, & etc.. costing tens of millions. All done without first establishing any legal foundation.

Legally; fiscally; morally, & administratively negligent

FEDERAL LAW “Commonwealth Legislative Powers”

The Constitution confers the power to make laws on the Commonwealth Parliament. However, the power of the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws is limited to particular subjects. Most of these subjects are listed in sections 51 and 52. They include defence; external affairs; interstate and international trade; taxation; foreign, trading and financial corporations; marriage and divorce; immigration; bankruptcy; and interstate industrial conciliation and arbitration.” 6

  1. Amongst other dubious claims, Minister Canavan would have us believe that Federal Legislation allows him to run roughshod over State Law. But does the Emperor actually wear any clothes?
  2. 7. The previous South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill in 30 January 2018: “ Asked if the state government would pursue a High Court case against the Turnbull government if a national facility were approved in South Australia, Mr Weatherill said: “We would have to explore our options to see what steps can be taken.” “ 7 .
  3. 8. One of those steps would be to query whether Federal Parliament had Constitutional Authority to impose radioactive waste upon a State which had specific laws prohibiting such. Section 51 of the Australian Constitution describes the various Powers of the Federal Parliament, & there are 39 such capacities – none of which relate to things radioactive8 : whilst Section 118 obligates the Commonwealth to recognise & respect the public Acts of the States.
  4. To make things perfectly clear, included as Appendix 1 is the whole Section 51 of the Australian Constitution: we challenge anyone to demonstrate how Canberra can legally impose Commonwealth owned radioactive waste upon any State whose Legislation prohibits such – S.51. (xxvi) actually says that Federal Parliament needs to respect State Legislation. Prime facie there is no legal base for the Commonwealth to enforce State acceptance of radioactive waste.
  5. 10. The knowledge that the Feds don’t have Constitutional Power to dump radioactive waste upon the States is not rocket science & is not a new revelation.
  6. In fact back in the 1950s, when the expansion of the nuclear fission enterprise was seen as rapidly developing technology which Australia should embrace; Canberra took steps toward Constitutional change.
  7. 11. In 1956 Prime Minister Menzies sought to legitimise nationwide Commonwealth regulation of all things nuclear through the establishment of a Joint Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Review: “The growth of nuclear physics, making possible the application of nuclear energy for practical purposes, is a phenomenon of the present century and alone this would explain the absence of any reference to it in the Commonwealth
  8. Constitution. ….. developments in the use of nuclear energy …. will inevitably …. reveal serious deficiencies in Commonwealth legal power …..“ 9 12. In the Committee’s November 1959 Final Report it categorically stated: “… the totality of constitutional power is insufficient to regulate and promote … the economic development of nuclear energy for all purposes. The power to regulate the use of nuclear energy for industrial or developmental purposes is almost entirely a matter for the States.“ 10
  9. 13. However the “… advice of the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review to amend the Australian Constitution to facilitate the development of a national nuclear industry was not taken up by the Menzies Government, or any subsequent federal administration.“.11
  10. 14. That path to Constitutional amendment failed to progress to a National Referendum because instead of going the whole hog, the Govt of the day apparently assumed it had all the legitimacy it needed thru S.51(vi) ‘Defence of the Realm’ powers12
  11. . 15. Hence the deficit of Commonwealth Power regarding civil & industrial radioactive waste facilities continues to this day. The Minister claims a need for this dump is generated by civilian radioisotope production & not from military use – therefore it cannot be legitimised under auspices of the S.51(vi) Defence umbrella.
  12. 16. The National Radioactive Waste Management Act [NRWMA 2012]13 came into effect on the 4th of April 2012. The objects of the Act are to safely & securely select establish & operate a facility for Commonwealth radioactive waste upon voluntarily nominated land. That Act does not signify ‘Defence’ at all, but relates to ‘….. controlled material within the meaning of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 that is of domestic origin; ….” 14: which “.. means any natural or artificial material, whether in solid or liquid form, or in the form of a gas or vapour, which emits ionizing radiation spontaneously. “ 15
  13. 17. Minister Canavan does not rely upon Constitutional Defence Powers to assert Federal dominance over the South Australian NWSF(P) 2000 Act: instead The Minister depends upon the NRWMA 2012 Part3 Section 11 ‘Authority to conduct activities’ scaffolded by S.12 ‘Application of State and Territory Laws’
  14. 18. However the Australian Constitution S.52(1) only allows Federal authority “…. over places acquired by the Commonwealth for public purposes “ – voluntarily nominated sites are by definition un-acquired.So any & all actions instigated by the Commonwealth upon the voluntarily nominated sites prior to acquisition are rendered unlawful.
  15. 19. Whilst also, as previously explained, the Australian Constitution S.51(xxv) AND S.118 both prohibit the Federal parliament from over-riding State Law. If the Commonwealth does not have Constitutional Power to over-ride State Laws & foist radioactive waste upon such; then likewise S.51(xxxi) denies lawful ability to acquire property in order to establish any site facilities.

Section 12 of the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 is unConstitutional; whilst Section 11 can only be Constitutional AFTER a site has been acquired by the Commonwealth – an acquisition unsupported by any Constitutional authority. =============================================

1 Scarce, K. p107, SA_Govt, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission – Final Report, May 2016

https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/assets.yoursay.sa.gov.au/production/2017/11/09/03/09/17/3923630b-087f-424b-a039- ac6c12d33211/NFCRC_Final_Report_Web.pdf 2 NWS(P) Act 2000, Parliament of South Australia. http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/sa/consol_act/nwsfa2000430/

3 Ibid

4 Marshall, S., 15th September 2016 “Nuclear Industry- Our Position” https://www.stevenmarshall.com.au/tags/infrastructure_policy? page=2 NB original whole text has been taken off-line since the 2018 State Election & Marshall now appears to be pro-dump.

5 p11, Conservation Council of S Aust, “SA Election Policy Backgrounder” 03 March 2018https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u_J9W1uxOTVXtQWuIpr8REOXGT68IDkX/view viewed 20/03/18

6 Federal Register of Legislation,’The Constitution’ – Overview, Commonwealth Legislative Powershttps://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2005Q00193

7 Owen M., 30 Jan 2018 in ‘The Australian’ https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/jay-weatherill- changes-mind-on-nuclear-dump-ahead-of-election/news-story/a11667e1cfcb443812ef0052bfc6fbef

8 PoA, 09 July 1900, ‘Commonwealth Constitution Section 51’ https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/Constitution/~/link.aspx? _id=AFF6CA564BC3465AA325E73053DED4AA&_z=z viewed 10/03/2018

9 PoA, pp50 – 01 October 1958, para 117-118 ‘Report from the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review’https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees? url=reports/1958/1958_pp50.pdf

10 PoA, pp108 – 26 November 1959, para 548 ‘Second Report from the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review’ https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_committees? url=reports/1959/1959_pp108.pdf

11 Yeeles, pp18-20, 19 May 2015 http://nuclearrc.sa.gov.au//app/uploads/2016/03/Richard-Yeeles-19-05-2015.pdf

12 Op cit – PoA pp108 para 547

13 Federal Register of Legislation, Commonwealth Acts April 2012 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2012A00029

14 Ibid 4 Definitions

15 Federal Register of Legislation ARPANSA 1998 S.13 Definitions http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgibin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/arpansa1998487/s13.html#definition 3

APPENDIX ONE – EXTRACT FROM THE AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION

  1. Legislative powers of the ParliamentThe Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:i trade and commerce with other countries, and among the States;

    ii taxation; but so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States;

    iii bounties on the production or export of goods, but so that such bounties shall be uniform throughout the Commonwealth;

    iv borrowing money on the public credit of the Commonwealth;

    v postal, telegraphic, telephonic, and other like services;

    vi the naval and military defence of the Commonwealth and of the several States, and the control of the forces to execute and maintain the laws of the Commonwealth;

    vii lighthouses, lightships, beacons and buoys; viii astronomical and meteorological observations; ix quarantine; x fisheries in Australian waters beyond territorial limits;

    xi census and statistics;

    xii currency, coinage, and legal tender;

    xiii banking, other than State banking; also State banking extending beyond the limits of the State concerned, the incorporation of banks, and the issue of paper money;

    xiv insurance, other than State insurance; also State insurance extending beyond the limits of the State concerned;

    xv weights and measures;

    xvi bills of exchange and promissory notes;

    xvii bankruptcy and insolvency;

    xviii copyrights, patents of inventions and designs, and trade marks;

    xix naturalization and aliens;

    xx foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth;

    xxi marriage;

    xxii divorce and matrimonial causes; and in relation thereto, parental rights, and the custody and guardianship of infants;

    xxiii invalid and old-age pensions;

    xxiiiA the provision of maternity allowances, widows’ pensions, child endowment, unemployment, pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services (but not so as to authorize any form of civil conscription), benefits to students and family allowances;

    xxiv the service and execution throughout the Commonwealth of the civil and criminal process and the judgments of the courts of the States;

    xxv the recognition throughout the Commonwealth of the laws, the public Acts and records, and the judicial proceedings of the States;

    xxvi the people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws; xxvii immigration and emigration;

    xxviii the influx of criminals;

    xxix external affairs;

    xxx the relations of the Commonwealth with the islands of the Pacific;

    xxxi the acquisition of property on just terms from any State or person for any purpose in respect of which the Parliament has power to make laws;

    xxxii the control of railways with respect to transport for the naval and military purposes of the Commonwealth;

    xxxiii the acquisition, with the consent of a State, of any railways of the State on terms arranged between the Commonwealth and the State;

    xxxiv railway construction and extension in any State with the consent of that State;

    xxxv conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State;

    xxxvi matters in respect of which this Constitution makes provision until the Parliament otherwise provides;

    xxxvii matters referred to the Parliament of the Commonwealth by the Parliament or Parliaments of any State or States, but so that the law shall extend only to States by whose Parliaments the matter is referred, or which afterwards adopt the law;

    xxxviii the exercise within the Commonwealth, at the request or with the concurrence of the Parliaments of all the States directly concerned, of any power which can at the establishment of this Constitution be exercised only by the Parliament of the United Kingdom or by the Federal Council of Australasia;

    xxxix matters incidental to the execution of any power vested by this Constitution in the Parliament or in either House thereof, or in the Government of the Commonwealth, or in the Federal Judicature, or in any department or officer of the Commonwealth.

    END APPENDIX ONE

 

Legal cases could stymie the Australian government’s push to dump nuclear waste on rural South Australia

April 27, 2018

THE construction of a radioactive waste dump in South Australia could be stalled by court challenges unless local indigenous people are consulted properly, the Australian Human Rights Commission has warned, Peter Jean, The AdvertiserAPRIL 25, 2018 

THE construction of a radioactive waste dump in South Australia could be stalled by court challenges unless local indigenous people are consulted properly, the Australian Human Rights Commission has warned.

The commission has intervened in the debate over potential locations for the dump after some Aboriginal groups complained they were not being fully consulted.

The Federal Government said it was working closely with indigenous people as it considers two sites near Kimba and one at Hawker as possible homes for low and intermediate-level radioactive waste.

But in a submission to a Senate inquiry, the Human Rights Commission said it was concerned that Adnyamathanha indigenous people near Hawker were unhappy with the consultation process.

“This situation requires immediate attention if the consideration of the site at Wallerberdina Station is to continue,’’ the commission said.

The “overwhelming and clearly expressed support of the affected indigenous group” would be required for the facility to go ahead, according to the commission.

The federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science told the inquiry that it was consulting indigenous people, and an Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment had been conducted at the Wallerberdina Station site near Hawker.

The department said it would continue to work closely with traditional land owners to “preserve, protect and minimise the impact on indigenous heritage”

Legal challenges resulted in earlier plans for a waste dump in the Northern Territory being abandoned in 2014.

Australian Christians activists face 7 years’ gaol for protest against secret USA spy base Pine Gap

November 25, 2017

An American Spy Base Hidden in Australia’s Outback, NYT   The trials — and the Australian government’s uncompromising prosecution of the protesters — has put a spotlight on a facility that the United States would prefer remain in the shadows.

— Margaret Pestorius arrived at court last week in her wedding dress, a bright orange-and-cream creation painted with doves, peace signs and suns with faces. “It’s the colors of Easter, so I always think of it as being a resurrection dress,” said Ms. Pestorius, a 53-year-old antiwar activist and devout Catholic, who on Friday was convicted of trespassing at a top-secret military base operated by the United States and hidden in the Australian outback.