Articles by: Spencer Zifcak

Author Biography: No biography available

Power Unconstrained, by Spencer Zifcak

The federal government attacks its watchers

Informit: Power unconstrained

In recent years the federal government has made an art form of undermining the autonomy of independent statutory offices established to hold it to account. One by one, statutory offices have been subject to forceful governmental and media assaults. These assaults have not related to the performance by statutory office holders of their statutorily mandated duties. There has been no suggestion of negligence or lack of competence. Instead the government's behaviour has been motivated, seemingly,…

Proportionality Lost, Australia’s New Counter-Terrorism Laws, by Spencer Zifcak

New law requires careful deliberation, particularly if it infringes on civil liberties. In this case, it didn't get it.

Informit: About Martin place

Tackling 'lone wolf' terror-from metadata to civics and education. I first came across Man Haron Monis, the Sydney siege gunman, in early 2013. The High Court of Australia had just handed down an important new decision on the breadth of the protection the Australian Constitution provides for freedom of expression. The facts of the case centred on offensive letters sent to the parents of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. The issue was whether sending offensive…

Informit: Proportionality lost

Attorney-General George Brandis crashed two major tranches of counter-terrorism law through federal parliament recently. As always there are two problems with such an approach: overkill and error. Both tranches demonstrate these deficits in abundance.

Informit: Oswiecim. [Account of a visit to the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps (Poland ).]

Informit: Broken homeland

Vaclav Havel compare politics of his nation(s) to the theatre of the absurd Spencer Zifcak reports from the Czech and Slovak republics.