Little’s Law, the fugitive slave legislation, was introduced in 1890, and was passed to protect slaves who worked for the Crown.
The law, which applies to anyone who is employed by the Crown or has “any interest in the subject matter of the Crown’s office” has become a model for how Australians interact with the law.
It states: “If any person has any interest in, or has any connection with, any subject matter or business of the Government of a State, Territory or Commonwealth, or with the subjects of any such State, Territories or Commonwealth.”
The act has been criticised by human rights groups, who say it is discriminatory and that it allows slave owners to evade compensation.
“The fact that it says ‘in no case’, the fact that there is no penalty, and the fact the only way to escape it is to pay money, that is really what this law is about,” said Dr Richard Allan from the Law Reform Institute.
‘A joke’The law allows slave-owners to escape the law by paying “a sum of money equal to one quarter of the value of the slave” and to hire a lawyer.
But Mr Allan says the law has never been widely enforced, and there is currently no legal definition of “slave”.
“There’s no clear definition of what it means to be a slave,” he said.
The law also allows for people to be charged with an offence if they have an interest in selling their own slaves.
“That’s just another way of saying the slave-owning community, in the modern sense, does not actually have a criminal law,” he added.
Mr Allan believes the law should be scrapped.
He said: “It’s a joke that the law is still on this issue.”
Topics:law-crime-and-justice,race-relations,human-interest,race,immigration,humanitarian-aid-and‑relief,human,aboriginal-and%-minority,social-policy,community-and/or-society,government-and,parliament,government—organisations,immigration-and—refugees,immigration—state-issues,government,governmental-parties,government–organisations-and-$,state-partied-parliamentary-conference,parole,social-,parole-or-release,law-enforcement-and+public-safety,human-(first-name),foreign-affairs,governmentsource ABC News (AU) title How much does it cost to be Australian?
article A new survey of asylum seekers suggests there are no guarantees about what it will cost to live in Australia.
The ABC has learned the average cost of living in Australia was $9,639, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
This compares to $17,638 in Victoria and $17.3 in New South Wales.
While some asylum seekers are already paying a higher price to live here than in the United States, many are still struggling to find work.
Asylum seekers are still facing high levels of unemployment, with some estimates suggesting more than half the total number of asylum seeker children have been out of school for at least six months.
The number of unaccompanied children in detention is also increasing.
The survey of 1,000 asylum seekers, who have been in Australia since September, found that 40 per cent of them had been forced into prostitution and prostitution-related activities, and 25 per cent were victims of physical or sexual violence.
One in five respondents had been subjected to domestic violence, while 10 per cent said they had been sexually abused.
According to the survey, one in six respondents said they were unable to afford the basic necessities.
Topics :government-in-charge,immigration ,law-profession,immigration/refugee-policy