In response to proposals to promote common law rights and freedoms, RoLIA has come up with a list of priorities which form the basis of improving access to justice, equality before the law and repealing statutes which restrict common law rights:

  • The Federal Government must comply with its own model litigant rules contained in the Legal Service Directions. These principles should be legislated so they can be acted upon by the courts.
  • The justice system including the courts and the Attorney-General’s Department should be adequately funded so access to justice is not sacrificed due to budgetary constraints
  • Government agencies should provide certainty so that when people act on information provided to them they are not at risk of a penalty.
  • Freedom of Information processes should be reviewed emphasising the importance of the public’s right to know, at no cost to the public.
  • All provisions which reverse the onus of proof, allow for closed, secret or ex parte hearings, and those which remove the right to silence or privilege against self-incrimination should be repealed.
  • Uniform protection of journalists and their sources and removal of exemptions for politicians, political staff and security agencies from the reach of whistleblower laws.
  • The scrutiny of bills process should include a statement outlining how proposed legislation conforms to rule of law principles, with an adequate system of alerts when a bill contravenes these principles.