With criminal allegations against Roman Catholic priests in the news, not for the first time, the question of international legal status for the Catholic Church/ Vatican City/ Holy See comes up.
Is the Catholic Church like any other global faith-based movement from a legal point of view -- Bah'ai, Anglican, Scientology -- or does it have special status that confers some kind of immunity on its officials? Is the Pope some kind of Head of State?
Geoffrey Robertson argues that the claims for statehood, or anything like statehood, are bogus, and I agree.
The relationships between the Vatican, the Holy See, the office of the Pope, and the worldwide Catholic Church are immensely complicated. That is ok -- faith-based movements can organise themselves in complicated ways if they want.
It is also ok for the state of Italy to allow special privileges for the section of Rome occupied by the Vatican.
In the lead-up to the introduction of the carbon tax on July 1, there has been considerable focus on the potential for price gouging – inflating prices beyond the cost increases reasonably attributable to the tax. In recent days, this has been fuelled by a letter sent to small business from the opposition, urging them to place flyers in their shops apologising for any carbon-tax related price increases.
What business can and cannot claim following the introduction of the carbon tax
Businesses are generally free to increase or lower their prices as they choose. In the context of the carbon tax, there are no specific laws preventing price gouging. However, the law does prohibit false or misleading claims regarding the cause of any price hike. For example, if a business reasonably estimates that its costs have increased by 5% as a result of the carbon tax then ..
Coal seam gas mining is rapidly expanding beyond the eastern basin states. The Inquiry into Greenfields Mineral Exploration and Project Development in Victoria recommends the Victorian Government establish a process to consult stakeholders about the future development of goal seam gas. But Victoria’s laws simply aren’t ready for this new form of mining.
For a full outline of this article please see The Conversation
This article has been published on The Conversation 11th May.
Here is the link
Clearly, some PR company (or companies) is making good money out of convincing large corporations and businesses that the way to get to consumers, in this fragmented media world, is to do long-form advertisements. Rather than short, pithy 30 second spots, there seems to be a bit of a movement toward longer, snappy and emotionally rich adver-films that tell the story about "Our People". Some swelly music, beautiful sweeping pan shots, nice depth of field, and happy smiling faces... you get the picture. The Australian mining industry, the Mormons, and now Qantas have all put together a series of films about how their people, are people, just like you and me.
Liam Jurrah’s involvement in a violent incident in an Alice Springs court last week has captivated the Australian media for days. The 23-year-old forward at the Melbourne Football Club recommenced training yesterday, after being granted bail by an Alice Springs court on charges of unlawfully causing serious harm and being armed with an offensive weapon. The weapon is believed to have been a machete, and Jurrah is implicated in an attack that left a 35-year-old man in hospital with serious head injuries. The incident is reported to have been part of ongoing clan disputes that have plagued his home community of Yuendumu, 300km west of Alice Springs, for 18 months. This morning, The Conversation spoke with Jurrah’s biographer and friend Bruce Hearn Mackinnon. Mackinnon is a senior lecturer at Deakin University and hosted Jurrah on his initial move to Melbourne.
We all make mistakes: often they are embarrassing or hurtful, sometimes they have more serious consequences. However, where the police and courts get involved, they can have long-lasting impact on people’s lives.
Discrimination on the ground that a person has a criminal record is widespread in Victoria, particularly in obtaining and maintaining employment. There has been a significant increase in the number of criminal record checks undertaken in Victoria: Victoria Police data shows a 6000 per cent increase in checks between 1992-93 and 2003-04. Indeed, in the employment sphere, ‘criminal record checks are fast becoming a routine part of the recruitment process’. In this context, it is increasingly concerning that laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person’s irrelevant criminal record lack any real teeth.
A new national agreement designed to protect water resources from coal seam gas extraction and coal mining could offer a level of protection so far unseen in Australian environmental legislation. Any states serious about protecting water for farming and the environment should be signing up.
(This is a cross-post from The Conversation - see https://theconversation.edu.au/the-burma-question-is-reform-possible-aft....)