The Moral Ideal of Humanity is Liberty and Nobody Pleads Guilty to Ignorance of That



A new year and I find myself reflecting on recent times.

Working in the criminal defence field you know the meaning of eternal vigilance. Your work is about maintaining that vigilance ensuring that Australian citizens enjoy liberty, freedom, privacy, due process and justice, the bulwarks of any liberal democracy.

I can’t ignore the political, cultural and societal changes emerging in the last decade or so including in the last 12 months, both here and overseas, many quite regressive.

Are our political, social and cultural freedoms safe?

The artwork by Anthorny Freda portrays The Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty, the world’s symbol of freedom, being frisked and searched by police. Such excesses violate the 4th Amendment (USA) right to privacy and to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. If Lady Liberty is not secure, not safe from unreasonable searches and seizures, who is?

The artwork depicts a warrantless police search, an illegal violation of Liberty’s privacy. The artwork is a metaphor for liberty and freedom the world over or, lack thereof.

4th Am: “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, & effects, against unreasonable searches & seizures, shall not be violated, & no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, & particularly …



Remembering South Africa’s apartheid system, it’s entrenched repression and the long political struggle it fuelled.  You remember?  You know what was going on?

What about the lawyers in the struggle? Not so long ago, lawyers in South Africa were exiled for maintaining eternal vigilance in the fight for freedom and liberty.  10482-image-450-550-fit1Exiled for pursuing the moral ideal of humanity.

Did you plead guilty or ignorant to what was going on in South Africa?

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