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Citizenship: Greens tell PM Abbott the constitution is not an inconvenience

Penny Wright 18 Jun 2015

The Greens say Tony Abbott will prove he is scared of his own Cabinet if he does not explain his citizenship laws before introducing them to Parliament next week.

"The constitution is not a mere inconvenience. If Mr Abbott was truly confident about these laws, he'd be taking them back to cabinet before introducing them," said Greens Legal Affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright.

"Only a couple of ministers have seen the legal advice and they won't say whether Abbott's citizenship laws are constitutional or not.

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Why the Racial Discrimination Act was a critical turning point in Australia's history

Penny Wright 15 Jun 2015

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (16:24):  I rise to contribute to this motion on the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Racial Discrimination Act in June 1975. The enactment of the Racial Discrimination Act was a critical turning point in Australia's history because of the role it played in signposting Australia's commitment to protecting and promoting what were internationally recognised and universal human rights.

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Legal hurdles, community division over citizenship

Penny Wright 13 Jun 2015

Ministerial power to strip Australians of their citizenship is frightening the community and may be unconstitutional, said Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright.

"These laws are a mess. They're being rushed, they're being formed on the basis of misunderstood advice, they're fuelling division in the community and in Tony Abbott's own Cabinet," said Senator Wright.

"Such a serious mistake will result in crucial legal processes being passed over, and the consequences of that are huge.

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Federal Government must lead new approach to tackle Aboriginal incarceration

The Australian Greens say the release of an Amnesty International report into Indigenous incarceration should restart a national conversation about Justice Reinvestment as an alternative to "lock 'em up" prison culture.

Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright, who chaired a 2013 inquiry into Justice Reinvestment, said some of the momentum for Federal action had been lost after the election of the Abbott Government.

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Cruel court fee hikes could harm family violence victims

Penny Wright 15 May 2015

The Abbott Government's cruel hike to Family Court fees could delay victims of domestic violence from seeking a divorce, Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wright says.

"When the previous government raised court fees, Attorney General George Brandis called it 'a disguised Labor tax'," Senator Wright said.

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