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Monthly Archives: May 2011

ERA journal rankings are dead – hurrah, hurrah!

I haven’t heard of an academic yet who is sad about the end of the ERA journal rankings, announced yesterday by Minster Kim Carr. Carr said in his press release: There is clear and consistent evidence that the [ERA journal] rankings were being deployed inappropriately within some quarters of the sector, in ways that could […]

Bizarre benefits fraud excuses revealed

Celebrity squares are: Top left: Jacquie Smith MP (Lab) – former Home Secretary who claimed her husband’s pay-per-view porn on expenses. [no action] Top right: David Laws MP (LibDem) – almost coalition Home Secretary until he admitted claiming for rent paid to his undeclared male partner. [suspended from Parliament for a week, under police investigation] […]

Mandatory sentencing – Throwing away the key is not the answer

In The Age today, it has been reported that the Victorian government is considering mandatory sentencing for young offenders of violent crime: The Baillieu government plans to introduce mandatory minimum jail terms for youths aged 16 and 17 convicted of violent offences, despite concern among the legal profession. Attorney-General Robert Clark has asked the Sentencing […]

Keep your sticky fingers off our legal system, thanks

In light of the SNP’s election win on May 5, this should come as no surprise: The Scottish cabinet is taking action to stop the UK Supreme Court in London getting involved in criminal cases north of the border. SNP ministers said the independence of Scotland’s legal system must be defended in the wake of several […]

Compared to this guy, all those who came after are also-rans

It’s wrong, of course, in almost every particular, but my this man could write.

Moving right along, this is not funny, but it is scary…

In the interests of fair reporting (and because religious nutters give me the screaming heaves), here is this joyful little story from the BBC. Australia must be really pleased about the religious composition of its immigrant population right now. I believe it’s known in the trade as ‘dodging a bullet’. Four Muslim men who assaulted […]

If the rapture comes, somebody grab my steering wheel!

There is a part of me that thinks picking on these guys is like picking on homeless people, or taunting the slow kid in the playground. When you indulge, it says more about you than it does about the people you’re picking on, and what it says isn’t pretty. When I was a kid, I […]

A mixture problem

Have you ever made a good cocktail by accident? You know, where you combine various ingredients — including quite a few that don’t seem to go together — and yet finish up with something awesome? Yeah, doesn’t happen often, does it? Or it only tastes good when you’re drunk. Taste the mix again later — […]

Sorcery for the Goose

The former spiritual mentor to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has publicly accused his protégé of being “under a spell” as a constitutional crisis engulfs the country. The president has taken the unprecedented step of refusing to obey orders handed down by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, less than two years after the pair formed […]

Property rights and the body – right to a dead person’s reproductive material

It was reported in The Australian today that a women has won the right to possession of her dead husband’s sperm with a view to using the material to conceive a child via IVF. The full judgment is available here: Jocelyn Edwards; Re the estate of the late Mark Edwards [2011] NSWSC 478. The facts […]