Articles by Kieran Adair

Australia May See Its First Cyborg Rights Case


You might remember Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow from his interview with Sydney Criminal Lawyers earlier this year. In that interview, Meow talked about biohacking, a DIY movement aimed at democratising science. Biofoundry, the community lab Meow’s’s opened in Redfern, is designed to do just that. Well, Meow’s been back in the news, and it’s not ...

Civil Rights and More: Our Guide to the Sydney Writers Festival


At a loss about what to do this weekend? Generally, you can’t beat a good book. Sadly the “one type of book that practically no one likes to read is a book about the law. Books about the law are notorious for being very long, very dull, and very difficult to read”… at least according ...

Woman Faces Prison for Giving Cannabis Oil to Sick People: An Interview with Jenny Hallam


If you ask the South Australian police what they think of Jenny Hallam, they’ll call her a criminal. Ask many others, and they’ll say she’s their angel. Ms Hallam, a marijuana reform activist, is facing up to 10 years in prison after police raided her house earlier this year and charged her with manufacturing a ...

Free Speech and Exposing Corruption: An Interview with Wendy Bacon


Wendy Bacon was just 23-years old when sentenced to eight days in prison and sent to Silverwater Remand and Reception Centre for her actions following the publication of a poem. Although she was later released, Wendy’s case became a defining moment for free speech in Australia. The year was 1970, and as a newly elected ...

The Real Laws That Threaten Public Debate


If you read the papers, you might think section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is the biggest threat to public debate in Australia. For almost two years, the issue has featured prominently on front pages of major newspapers around the country – with claims the law is being used to stifle commentators, cartoonists, and ...

Police Using Journalists’ Metadata to Hunt Down Whistleblowers


The Nauru Files changed everything. The Guardian’s publication of leaked incident reports from the detention centre  finally confirmed what many suspected: that the Australian government has been complicit in a campaign of abuse and brutality against those seeking asylum within its borders. The expose, featured on front pages around the world, has turned Australia into ...

Cheap Cigarettes Available Over the Internet


For Australians, there’s never been a better time to give up smoking. With the Labor Party promising to increase the tobacco excise by 12.5% each year, smokers could be paying around $40 a pack by 2020 if Labor is elected in July. There’s also speculation that the Turnbull Government could hike cigarette prices as early as ...

Sending People to Prison for Minor Offences


In a plan unveiled last week, the Australian Bar Association called on state and territory governments to scrap or amend mandatory sentencing laws for crimes including fine default, minor assaults, driving offences and petty theft. They believe the laws have contributed to the over-representation of Aboriginal people in prison, calling the situation a “national disgrace.” ...

Federal Government’s New Watchdog: A Further Threat to Civil Liberties


Trade unions and civil liberties groups have raised concern over a recent proposal to restore power to the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The Commission previously faced criticism for the “coercive power” it was able to exercise over union members and officials. Writing on the ABCC, Professor George Williams and Nicola McGarrity warned the ...

Fining the Homeless for Begging


This is something that should shock you: In most States and Territories across Australia it’s illegal to beg for money. If a homeless person is caught begging in South Australia, they’ll face an on-the-spot fine of $250, regardless of circumstances. In Melbourne, some advocacy services have reported homeless clients racking up fines as large as ...