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ASADA, the AFL and WADA – The main game

This is a guest post from Martin Hardie, a lecturer in law at Deakin University at Geelong.

It was first posted at the Deakin University “Deakin Speaking” site.

Last week the media was awash with reports and details of the show cause letter received by the sports scientist Stephen Dank. The resultant commentary quickly regressed into a continuation of the ill-informed and unsubstantiated speculation as to what happened in 2012 at the Essendon Football Club accompanied by naive cries for the truth to be exposed now and once and for all.

To be clear, since the middle of 2013, I have written and spoken about the fact that from the evidence I have seen and the research I have undertaken I do not believe that the Essendon players were administered substances prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Code.

I have also said  that what is clear is that the statutory regime established by the Commonwealth Government clearly establishes a regime whereby anti-doping cases are investigated, prosecuted and heard in private. I’ll add to that the fact that I was retained by the Essendon Football Club to give some advice on the status of the peptide AOD-9604 and the law surrounding ‘bringing the game into disrepute’.

BOB GOSFORD | March 12, 2014 | FUN STUFF | |

Alla Dignita Del Lavoro – day one in Palermo

It came to seem as if the mafia’s very purpose was to batter the organised working class in the countryside into submission.

BOB GOSFORD | February 21, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 2 |

Legal hostilities end in failure for the Aboriginal corporate regulator

Attempts by the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) to have legal sanctions imposed against dozens of small Aboriginal corporations within the Northern Land Council’s jurisdiction have failed in court.

The NLC’s legal branch helped get the corporations out of trouble, but not before ORIC and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions expended considerable investigative and legal resources pursuing them.

Two Northern Territory magistrates have declined to record any convictions against the corporations, and resisted arguments to subject them to a bond.


Vale Paddy ‘Cookie’ Japaljarri Stewart

This is a tribute to the life and work of Cookie – Paddy Japaljarri Stewart – by his friend Liam Campbell.

Paddy ‘Cookie’ Japaljarri Stewart was a Warlpiri and Anmatjerre man born at Mungapunju, which is south of present day Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. He was born sometime in 1940 and died on 30 November 2013. He will be remebered at a ceremony at Yuendumu this coming weekend.

He had responsibility for a large number of Jukurrpa (Dreamings) in the country north-west of Alice Springs. As a young man he worked on nearby stations and travelled extensively throughout the Northern Territory and into Queensland as a drover.

I got to know Cookie when I worked at the art centre, but also because I was recording the life story of Darby Jampijinpa Ross who had nominated him as ‘kurdungurlu‘ for his story.

BOB GOSFORD | February 13, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 7 |

Good money after bad. The NT Government and the Ord River Irrigation Scheme

This is a guest post by Syd Stirling, the Labor member for Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 1990 to 2008.

In 1999 he was elected Deputy Leader to Clare Martin,and served as Deputy Chief Minister following the ALP’s election win in 2001. He resigned along with Martin in November 2007, and retired at the 2008 election.

This article was first published in the Northern Land Council’s Land Rights News (Northern Edition).

Take a fast flowing northern river that runs enormous quantities of water to the sea every wet season and then breaks into pools during the dry.

Build a dam to store the water for irrigation.

Subsidise farmers to settle and grow crops on the irrigated land.

Spend more than one thousand million dollars of taxpayer’s money over 60 years carrying out the above without ever conducting a truly independent and rigorous cost benefit analysis and then look at the result.

BOB GOSFORD | February 11, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 3 |

The oppression of Aboriginal law

Last week I posted this story on a recent landmark case in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory that may fundamentally change the reception of Aboriginal customary law in our courts.

This article looks at the recent history of the oppression of those laws in Australia and was published in the January 2014 edition of Land Rights News (Northern Edition) published by the Northern Land Council in Darwin.

Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments have been whittling away at recognition of Aboriginal customary law for many years.

In 2003, the first NT Labor government, led by Clare Martin, angered the then chairman of the Northern Land Council, Galarrwuy Yunupingu, when it changed the law affecting promised marriages.

Until then, Aboriginal men had been able to claim a defence under law to a criminal charge of carnal knowledge of a girl under 16, providing the parties were living as husband and wife according to traditional law.

BOB GOSFORD | February 06, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 3 |

Djambuy’s case and the recognition of Aboriginal customary law

Aboriginal customary law has been the subject of extraordinary efforts by Northern Territory and Federal politicians to exclude it from consideration in the (European) administration of criminal justice.

Despite these efforts Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory continue to practise and apply their law. Aboriginal law is, for many people in the NT, the primary governing force in their lives.

Now, against the tide of intense legislative pressure, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory has recognised the utility of Aboriginal law.

This article was originally published in the January 2014 edition of Land Rights News (Northern Edition) by the Northern Land Council, a Commonwealth statutory authority responsible for the administration of Aboriginal land in the Top End of the Northern Territory.

The Northern Territory’s Chief Justice has enabled Aboriginal customary law to have a role in the punishment of an Aboriginal couple convicted of drug offences.

The landmark case serves to recognise the surviving reality and power of Yolngu law and its potential to coexist with mainstream legal systems. It also puts paid to the myth that customary law cannot be taken into account when Northern Territory courts sentence an Aboriginal person.

BOB GOSFORD | February 06, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 1 |

Bruce Davidson and the myth of a northern food bowl

Bruce Davidson, best-known for his 1963 book The Northern Myth, an unforgiving analysis of the follies – and prospects – of Australian tropical agriculture, passed away 20 years ago next month.

Bruce Davidson’s contribution to Australian agricultural economics remains under-appreciated, perhaps because of his uncompromising approach to his work and a reluctance to accept the cant and dubious science trumpeted by the political boosters of proposals for a northern Australian food bowl that would feed the world and ensure Australian prosperity.

Bruce Davidson’s work is valued and valuable today. Many of the challenges that he faced down with characteristic personal vigour and scientific rigour are the subject of contemporary Federal, State and Territory proposals that warrant the same close examination and analysis that Davidson applied to his work.

Davidson’s life and work remain as a model for critical scientific practice and the value of the application of logic and reason to agricultural economics.

This Obituary was published in the Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics in April 1994.

BOB GOSFORD | February 04, 2014 | AUSTRALIAN POLITICS | 2 |

The AFL, the NRL and ASADA – an athlete’s right to piss inside the tent

ASADA will fail Australian sport if it doesn’t put in the hard yards to ensure that sports men and women are inside the tent, not just outside pissing in tin cups.

BOB GOSFORD | February 03, 2014 | ANIMALS | 3 |

Reporting From Arnhemland

This is a guest post by Darwin-based journalist Miranda Tetlow.

It was first published at her her blog Postcards From The North.

Fuck Maningrida.

That’s what the graffiti scrawled on the community store says. They’re harsh words, angry words, and they give me a jolt as I sit on the nice clean mini bus while someone fetches my lunch.

I’m with a dozen other journalists from around the Territory waiting to tour the community and report on a trachoma eradication program there.


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