Articles by Sonia Hickey

Sonia Hickey Sonia Hickey is a freelance writer, magazine journalist and owner of 'Woman with Words'. She has a strong interest in social justice, and is a member of the Sydney Criminal Lawyers® content team.

Gender Neutral

‘Gender Neutral’ Language – Progress or a Step Too Far?


Earlier this week, Berkley Council in California made the decision to replace words within its municipal code with ‘gender-neutral’ language. It has altered dozens of masculine and feminine pronouns, replacing “he” and “she” with “they” and “them” in an effort to “promote equality”. Other gendered terms will change to specific nouns such as “teacher” or …
Cute puppy

New Laws for Rehoming Pets in New South Wales


The New South Wales Government says new laws that apply when you sell or give away a pet are designed with the safety and welfare of our furry companions in mind. But will they work? Or could they lead to a rise in the abandonment of our most vulnerable beings? New laws came into effect …
Hitler state

AFP Admits Accessing Metadata of Australians 20,000 Times in a Year


Australian Federal Police have admitted accessing the metadata of Australians around 20,000 times in just 12 months. The admission came during the AFP’s submission to the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security’s review of the mandatory data retention laws. Parliamentary committee review The review, currently underway, is examining a range of laws, including anti-encryption …
Australian prison

UN to Inspect Australian Prisons


United Nations Inspectors will have ‘unfettered access’ to Australian-run detention centres when they visit Australia in the coming months. It will be the first time inspectors have visited Australia. Such routine visits are one of the obligations of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment …
Deaths in custody

Indigenous Deaths In Custody – Will We Ever See Real Change?


As another inquest into the death of an Aboriginal woman in custody concludes that a series of failures by police caused her death, the question on many lips is: will we ever see real change? Wiradjuri woman Rebecca Maher died in custody in the cells of the Maitland police station in July 2016. She had …
Centrelink

Centrelink’s Flawed Robo-Debt System is Killing Our Most Vulnerable


The story of Devi Barker, one of Centrelink’s robo-debt victims has put the flawed Government automated debt-recovery system back into the spotlight. Her story is not dissimilar to thousands of other Australians in the same predicament: accused of racking up significant financial debts with the Department of Human Services, which remain accruing interest, until debtors …
silence news

Media Bosses Demand Protections for Journalists and Whistleblowers


Australian’s media bosses have finally come together to push for changes to laws passed in the name of national security which criminalise whistleblowers for exposing misconduct by state agencies and journalists for reporting it. The actions comes in the wake of AFP raids on the home of journalist Annika Smethurst and the Sydney premises of …
Bad review

Woman Ordered to Pay $530,000 for “Plainly Untrue” Google Review


We’re living in a time when it’s easy to get caught up in our emotions, and the moment, to consider ourselves ‘untouchable’ keyboard warriors and let our fingertips do the talking with smart remarks online. But, if ever there was a good reason to learn to pause, take a breath and consider very carefully what …
AFP website

ABC Launches Legal Challenge Against AFP Raids


The ABC has launched legal proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, challenging the warrant which enabled the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to search for, and record, fingerprints found at the premises and to take samples from the ABC for ‘forensic purposes’ as well as to ‘add, copy, delete or alter other data … found …
Nimbin

Police Power More Present than Ever at Nimbin Mardi Grass Festival


The New Wales Police Force has been at the frontline of the state Government’s crackdown on music festivals this year, with substantial funds being allocated to ensure the events are heavily policed. The Nimbin Mardi Grass was no exception. The small town on the far northern coast of the state hosts the festival every year. …