Crikey readers have their say on Operation Sovereign Borders and constitutional law.
Crikey writes: Re. “Hockey sues Fairfax” (yesterday). In Media Briefs yesterday, Crikey stated that Joe Hockey claimed the Fairfax article over which he is suing had known inaccuracies when it was published. He did not say that — he merely argued it made inaccurate implications when published.
What goes on water stays on water
Tamas Calderwood writes: Re. “Dictionaries now on-water matters as OSB still dodging accountability” (yesterday). Bernard Keane throws himself into the minutia of definitions, operations and government statements regarding Operation Sovereign Borders but he seems to be missing the big picture: The boats have stopped. This was one of the government’s major promises and it has fulfilled it. I suspect very few people care exactly how a boat is turned around or what equipment is used to do it. The great majority of Australians simply wanted the boats to stop and for our borders to be controlled by the government of the day. Job done — and the legacy issue of keeping people in detention will simply fade away over the next few years.
Greg Poropat writes: One question that I don’t think has been asked of the government is if Customs/Border Patrol/naval personnel confiscate (steal) mobile phones, GPS devices etc from asylum seekers and, if they do:
Under what legal authority they do so; and
What happens to the confiscated (stolen) materials.
If this does happen, is it piracy? The International Maritime Bureau defines piracy as: the act of boarding any vessel with an intent to commit theft or any other crime, and with an intent or capacity to use force in furtherance of that act.
The finer points of constitutional law
Len Copley writes: Re. “Egos in politics cost future Australians” (yesterday). We have a federal government, prior to federation we were six individual state with our own state governments making the law and collecting taxes. Our constitution is made up not just from the Westminster system as Stephen Bartos says. It is a compilation of the American federal government, the Westminster system and the Swiss model of government, because they also had six states before it was made into one country. The point that I’m trying to make here is, as we are not a standalone Westminster system country, but indeed a mix of three types of government. Just to emphasise the point England is not a federal government.