Civil liberties are central to the freedoms that Australians value. They affirm the rights of all to protection from arbitrary authority and enable mirities to flourish; but they have also frequently been disputed. From arguments over censorship in the 1930s to present-day debates on mandatory sentencing, the concept of civil liberties - and its impact on our everyday lives - is a recurring motif of public life. Liberty is packed with new insights into the way civil liberties have been understood in Australia, tracing the formation of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties (ACCL), and its state-based counterparts, and their involvement in the movement for law reform. From the Petrov Royal Commission on Espionage to David Hicks and Mohammed Haneef, the book offers a fresh analysis of the common law, human rights and parliamentary democracy, and relates how many cases of injustice were resolved.
Stuart Macintyre is the Ernest Scott Professor of History and a laureate professor at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of A Concise History of Australia and volume four of The Oxford History of Australia. James Waghorne is a fellow in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne. He is currently working on a commissioned history of the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration.