Democracy knocked to 'narrow'
A new report has changed the rating of Australia’s democracy from “open” to “narrowed”.
The CIVICUS Monitor brings together a range of international human rights organisations to assess the democratic freedoms of 196 countries.
Its latest report has dropped Australia’s democratic ‘status’ in response to police raids on media outlets, the prosecution of whistleblowers like Witness K, and crackdowns on peaceful protest.
The CIVICUS Monitor assessed aspects of democracy including freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression.
Countries are ranked with titles from closed, repressed, obstructed and narrowed to open.
The report said Australia’s ranking was knocked in particular by new laws that allow law enforcement authorities to force tech companies to hand over user information - even when protected by end-to-end encryption.
The report’s assessment appears to be backed by public opinion, with just 59 percent of Australians saying they are satisfied with how democracy is working in a recent survey.
Just three countries were downgraded in the Asia Pacific region in the latest report, with India and Brunei dropping from ‘obstructed’ to ‘repressed’.
The report is available here, in PDF form.