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Greens succeed in unwinding Abbott's divorce tax

The Senate has overturned the Abbott Government's Family Court fee increases, voting in favour of a disallowance motion by Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright.

The increased fees, which would have particularly affected family violence victims, is the first of the Abbott Government's 2015 Budget measures to be knocked back by the Senate.

Senator Wright said the fee hikes, such as a $350 increase to the cost of a divorce application, were unjustified.

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Abbott’s citizenship laws more about posturing than protection

The Australian Greens say the Abbott Government's citizenship laws outlined today are a cynical attempt to bypass the courts yet again, but will not make Australians any safer.

Spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright said the Prime Minister had made it clear the power to determine who would lose citizenship still rested with the Immigration Minister, who would decide which terrorist organisations are proscribed under the Citizenship Act.

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Traditional common law rights must be taken seriously

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (11:39):  The Australian Greens do not support the enactment of the Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Powers) Bill 2015 as currently drafted. The bill seeks to amend the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 and the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 to enhance the powers of Australian Crime Commission examiners to conduct examinations, and the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner, supported by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, to conduct hearings.

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Greens to reverse Abbott Government's divorce tax

The Australian Greens will move to strike down the Abbott Government's court fee increases, which legal centres have said will delay victims of domestic violence from seeking a divorce.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright, who will introduce the disallowance motion next week, said increasing the cost of divorce applications from $845 to $1195 was excessive.

"It is completely inappropriate to use family breakdown as a cash cow for the government," Senator Wright said.

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

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

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

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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