On 25 May, Irish voters are to vote on the option of repealing the 8th amendment of the Irish Constitution, which effectively banned abortion by giving foetuses the same legal rights as pregnant women. Background from the BBC here
Ireland’s Catholicism has had a large role in the historical development of strong anti-choice, anti-abortion laws, but the Church has been curiously absent from current debates. That doesn’t mean that the current debate in the lead up to the referendum has been respectful and fact based, not at all. Amnesty International Ireland has come in for strong criticism in particular from anti-choice campaigners for the ridiculous complaints that Amnesty received donations from the Soros International fund and is thus “a US abortion organisation meddling in Irish affairs.” (Never mind that Amnesty was founded in London, and has been campaigning on a range of human rights for over fifty years, and has only recently changed its internal policies on how it handles abortion rights to be a more rights-based perspective!) Disclaimer: I am an active member of Amnesty International Australia, and a former board director here. I do not bother to hide my sympathies for my Irish colleagues, nor my disdain for the utter garbage being thrown at them by opponents.
Fake news is aplenty in the debates, with the anti-choice movement funded by donors within Ireland and overseas flooding Irish media and online with bots and misinformation presented as objective facts. This is extremely disappointing.
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CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of suicide, mental illness and discrimination against disabilities.
Last week, the Melbourne legal fraternity lost one of the good guys, Magistrate Stephen Myall. I didn’t know him personally, but many people that I know professionally did and have spoke about him with a great deal of warmth, respect and professional affection.
This job is hard. No matter what area of law that you practice, you will encounter a huge amount of stress and things that can trigger mental health issues. Many of us will enter the legal profession already dealing with mental health issues, whether we know it or not at the time. There is a certain type of high achieving, driven, stubborn type who study law and go on to be lawyers, the “Type A” personality… a stereotype which all to often masks deeper issues that may or may not be conducive to long term career sustainability.
I freely admit that I manage a mental health disability, two actually. As much as I enjoy being a lawyer, there are many reasons why I am looking for a job outside of legal practice now, and most of those reasons are to do with endemic discrimination across the legal sector for lawyers with mental health disabilities. Even though it’s common, and even though law societies and other professional bodies recommend better ways of supporting staff with mental health issues… the taint of having a mental health issue within our profession leads many of us to cover up the problem and plough on unassisted, rather than risk derision or potential career harm.
That’s a massive problem.
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By Caitlin McInnis The 62nd session of Commission on the Status of Women will take place in March 2018. The Australian government will be present at the session and recently took submissions from experts and the public as to what it should prioritise and advocate for when attending the session. The Castan Centre’s Acting Director […]
via Rural women and girls deserve gender equality too — Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
Reblogged from the Castan Centre.
This survey is a ridiculous waste of money and an offensively bad way to determine issues of policy, but the question is simple:
Should the law be changed to allow same-sex marriage?
That’s it. It is not about free speech or parenting or religious freedom or boys wearing dresses (which is actually not a bad thing…)
It’s just about whether Australian law should be equal and non-discriminatory. That’s all.
So vote yes, post your vote as soon as you get it, and remember this whole exercise in unleashing discrimination, bigotry and public expenditure wastefulness when we next have to vote for the government…
By Caitlin McInnis The marriage equality survey is now under way, and lots of Australians are showing their support for equal love. If you want to stay inspired on a daily basis, there are many things you can do, including following us on Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll be making the “YES” case every day. […]
via 5 things you need to know about voting in the marriage equality survey — Castan Centre for Human Rights Law