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CURRICULUM SUBJECTS: Ethics and Morality

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Kant's Moral Theory

No One Wanted Us - The Tragic Voyage of the SS St. Louis

In May, 1939, the SS St. Louis, a ship of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution left Hamburg, bound for Havanna, Cuba. Without their knowledge, their landing passes had been voided by the Cuban President, Laredo Bru. When the ship arrived in Cuba, the passengers were not allowed to debark. Representatives from the Jewish Joint Distribution committee negotiated with the Cuban government, but to no avail. The passengers appealed to President Roosevelt to allow them to land in the United States, but they were again turned away. The ship was forced to return to Europe, where two-thirds of the passengers would perish in the Holocaust.

Articles

Values and Beliefs

Catholic Moral Teachings : What does Vatican II state?

'Vatican II, brought to the fore front the issue of conscience and its vital role in our search for truth. The document on the Church in the Modern World #16 stated clearly the important role of conscience in the life of the Christian. ...'Deep within their consciences men and women discover a law which they have not laid upon themselves and which they must obey. Its voice, ever calling them to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells them inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that. For they have in their hearts a law inscribed by God. Their dignity rests in observing this law, and by it they will be judged. Their conscience is people's most secret core, and their sanctuary. There they are alone with God whose voice echoes in their depths. By conscience, in a wonderful way, that law is made known which is fulfilled in the love of God and of one's neighbor.'

Asylum Seekers and Refugees

  • Debunking Myths
    Are asylum seekers who arrive by boat 'illegal'? Are asylum seekers who arrive by boat 'queue jumpers'? Is Australia being 'flooded' with asylum seekers'? This factsheet answers common questions and debunks myths about refugees and asylum seekers.
    Last updated: 16 December 2014
     
  • How much does does Australia's refugee policy cost?
    This factsheet contains an analysis of the cost of detention and processing in Australia detailed in the Commission of Audit report 2014.
    Last updated: 2 May 2015

Refugees and asylum seekers in Australia

  • Refugee status determination in Australia
    Refugee status determination is the process by which a person (asylum seeker) may be recognized as a refugee. This factsheet discusses the policies and processes for RSD in Australia.
    Last updated: 24 February 2015
     
  • ‘Fast tracking’ refugee status determination
    Before the 2013 federal election, the Coalition announced its plan to assess protection claims more quickly. The plan indicated that a Coalition government would introduce a new ‘Fast Track Assessment and Removal’ (FTAR) process, based on the United Kingdom’s Detained Fast Track (DFT) system.  This factsheet looks at how the FTAR process will operate and its comparisons with the UK's DFT process.
    Last updated: 13 March 2015
     
  • Temporary protection visas
    This factsheet describes temporary protection visas (TPVs) and discusses the Australian Government’s position on TPVs, the impacts of TPVs, whether TPVs are consistent with international law, whether other countries use TPVs, and whether TPVs deter asylum seekers. 
    Last updated: 1 April 2015
     
  • Immigration detention
    This factsheet explains immigration detention including whether Australia’s policy on immigration detention is consistent with international law, the rationale for detention, and the alternatives to detention. 
    Last updated: 21 October 2013
     
  • Refugees with an adverse security assessment by ASIO
    This factsheet describes the situation of refugees who have been assessed to be a security risk in Australia. It begins by providing some background, then describes the law relating to adverse security assessments, why these refugees were considered to be a security risk, the result of having an adverse security assessment, and subsequent events. The factsheet then explains the concerns regarding this process.
    Last updated: 24 February 2015
      
  • Legal assistance for asylum seekers
    This factsheet describes the legal assistance available to asylum seekers in Australia including their entitlements to legal aid, the implications of cutting legal aid entitlements, and how Australia compares with other countries.
    Last updated: 16 May 2014
     
  • Complementary protection
    This factsheet explains complementary protection, why we have complementary protection in Australia and recent attempts to repeal it.
    Last updated: 25 July 2014
      
  • Can a refugee who commits a crime in Australia be deported?
    This factsheet explains whether refugees who commit crimes in Australia can be deported. It sets out the position in Australia, explains whether this is consistent with international law, and explains what other countries, such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States do. 
    Last updated: 23 October 2013

Turnbacks and Offshore Processing

  • ‘Turning back boats’
    This factsheet describes the policy of ‘turning back boats’ under both Operation Relex and Operation Sovereign Borders. It discusses their operational challenges, examines whether these policies are consistent with international law and whether other countries turn back boats. 
    Last updated: 4 August 2014
     
  • Maritime interception and screening of asylum seekers at sea
    This factsheet examines the practice of screening asylum seekers at sea in the context of maritime interception operations.
    Last updated: 24 June 2015
     
  • Offshore processing: Australia’s responsibility for asylum seekers and refugees in Nauru and Papua New Guinea
    This factsheet replaces an earlier factsheet titled ‘Offshore Processing: Australia’s legal obligations'. This factsheet sets out Australia’s responsibilities under international law towards asylum seekers and refugees that have been transferred from Australia to Nauru and Papua New Guinea (PNG). It starts with a general introduction to offshore processing, and explains what the concept of ‘State responsibility’ means under international law. It also explains the concept of ‘sovereignty’, and what sovereignty has to do with Australia’s legal obligations to asylum seekers and refugees offshore.
    Last updated: 8 April 2015
     
  • Offshore processing: conditions
    This factsheet describes the conditions of Australia’s offshore processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru. The factsheet discusses the physical conditions, health care, the nature of detention and the refugee status determination (RSD) process on Manus Island and Nauru. It also covers the current situation for children on Manus Island and Nauru, and the availability of durable solutions.
    Last updated: 7 April 2015
      
  • Offshore processing: refugee status determination for asylum seekers on Nauru 
    This factsheet describes current arrangements for refugee processing and protection in the Republic of Nauru (Nauru). It explains Nauru’s obligations under international treaties and domestic law, and key information about Nauru’s refugee status determination (RSD) process, including the relevant law and how the law is implemented in practice. It sets out the reactions of international, Australian and Nauruan stakeholders to the offshore processing arrangements in Nauru. The factsheet also sets out more general information about Nauru, including key facts and figures, and key dates in relation to refugee processing since August 2012.
    Last updated: 1 June 2015
     
  • Offshore processing: refugee status determination for asylum seekers on Manus Island 
    This factsheet describes current arrangements for refugee processing and protection on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG). It explains PNG’s obligations under international treaties and domestic law, and key information about PNG’s refugee status determination (RSD) process, including the relevant law and how the law is implemented in practice. It sets out the reactions of international, Australian and Papua New Guinean stakeholders to the processing and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in PNG. The factsheet also sets out more general information about PNG, including key facts and figures, and key dates in PNG’s history generally and in relation to refugee processing since August 2012.
    Last updated: 17 June 2015
     
  • Offshore processing: Australia's obligations with respect to asylum seeker children who may be sent to Nauru 
    This factsheet sets out Australia’s responsibilities under international law with respect to asylum seeker children who may be sent to Nauru to have their protection claims processed. It should be read together with the factsheet on Australia’s responsibility under international law for asylum seekers and refugees in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
    Last updated: 19 June 2015

Refugees in our region

  • Regional cooperation
    This factsheet describes regional cooperation in the refugee protection context. The factsheet discusses why it is important, and what a proper regional cooperation framework would look like. 
    Last updated: 29 October 2013
     
  • Cambodia and refugee protection
    This factsheet describes current Australian proposals to resettle refugees in Cambodia. It explains Cambodia’s obligations under international treaties and domestic law, and its refugee status determination (RSD) process in law and in practice. The factsheet also describes more general concerns about human rights protection in Cambodia, key facts and figures, and key dates in Cambodia’s history.
    Last updated: 15 August 2014
     
  • The Cambodia agreement
    This factsheet describes the agreement between Australia and Cambodia for the relocation of refugees from Nauru to Cambodia, outlines the agreement’s main features, answers some key questions about its application, describes progress on its implementation to date, and sets out some of the international reactions to its announcement. It supplements the general factsheet on refugee protection in Cambodia, and the in focus briefs on the implementation of the Cambodia agreement, and Cambodia’s treatment of Montagnard asylum seekers from Vietnam.

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Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they're right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry.

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The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Lenny Esposito versus Richard Carrier

Full "Beyond Religion: Ethics for the Whole World" Dalai Lama Speech

Secular Ethics

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Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice. Quote by Henry Ford