Russell Marks


141 ENTRIES Russell Marks is a criminal defence lawyer and an adjunct research fellow at La Trobe University, where he completed a PhD in Australian political history. His most recent book is Black Lives, White Law: Locked Up and Locked Out in Australia. He lives on Kaurna land.


Detail of the cover of the first issue of The Phantom, published September 1948


Purple reign: The 75th anniversary of ‘The Phantom’

The longevity of the world’s first costumed superhero reflects an Australian publishing success story

Blue-and-white police tape is seen against a blurry and indistinct background.


To serve and protect?

The appalling treatment of Clare Nowland is but one example of the way in which Australia’s police forces wield power

A view of the PwC company logo on a building in Sydney.


The PwC scandal underscores the slow collapse of the public service

The outsourcing of government business has fundamentally changed how governments think about public policy – and their capacity to act in the public good

Anthony Albanese is seen walking towards a podium for a press conference at Parliament House. Three flags – the Australian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander flags – are seen in the background.


It’s the voice, try and understand it

There are weaknesses in the voice proposal, but glossing over them may not help the “Yes” campaign

Anthony Albanese introduces Labor leader and Premier elect Chris Minns, holding his arm aloft in victory


Labor in power: a recent history

Incumbent Labor governments have failed to achieve much that could be called progressive

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese arrive in the Ahmedabad stadium, carried by a strange vehicle decorated with crickets bats and stumps


Technocrats are ruining Test cricket

Why does the Australian men’s team bother to play Tests overseas?

Image of Malcolm Turnbull speaking at an event. He is seen from the side, at the right of frame, and appears against a dark background, with two spots of white light appearing on the left of frame.


Malcolm Turnbull vs the right to protest

The former prime minister’s reaction to campus protests underlines how universities – once havens of free expression – have been reduced to sites of sanctioned speech

A patient has her blood pressure checked.


Why it’s so hard to get a GP appointment

The GP shortage and stagnant Medicare rebates are only part of the problem

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, wearing a pale blue polo shirt, stands in front of various microphones from media outlets during a press conference in Alice Springs. He is flanked by Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney. All three are wearing sombre expressions.


The moral panic button

The “crime wave” in Alice Springs threatens to engulf the debate over a voice to parliament

Waste can be seen among recyclable items from domestic bins at the Cleanaway Recycling Centre in Brisbane, November 11, 2021. Image © Jono Searle / AAP Images


Does Australia recycle anything? And does it matter?

The suspension of REDcycle’s soft plastics collection program has prompted questions about the state of recycling

Image of former Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann leaves the ACT Supreme Court in Canberra, October 27, 2022. Image © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images


The twin spectacles in the trial of Bruce Lehrmann

Neither trial by jury nor trial by media are effective paths to a true, restorative justice

Image of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping during the 2022 G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, November 15, 2022. Image © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images


US forces give China the nod

How can Australia expect better relations with China as we boost our regional defence relationship with the United States?

Image of Queensland police commissioner Katarina Carroll leaving a Brisbane hearing of the inquiry into Queensland Police responses to domestic and family violence, August 18, 2022. Image © Darren England / AAP Images


Criminalising coercive control isn’t the answer to DV

Police inaction on domestic violence won’t be solved by creating a new criminal offence

Image of Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivering his post-budget address at the National Press Club in Canberra, October 26, 2022. Image © Lukas Coch / AAP Images


Small change

The first Labor budget in a decade tinkers, but is an ultimately inadequate response to the nation’s many challenges

Detail from The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, UK 30th anniversary DVD


‘The Adventures of Barry McKenzie’, 50 years on

Bruce Beresford’s unwatchable first feature film, which glorified the ocker brand of Aussie masculinity, indicates how the Great Australian Piss-Take has evolved in the intervening years