Civil and human rights

Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters on the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Above the Line Voting) Bill 2013 - December 2013

NSWCCL has called for major reform of the Senate electoral system to ensure Senators are only elected if they have enough voter support and not due to inter-party preference deals. 

We made a submission to a parliamentary inquiry calling for the introduction of optional preferential voting in Senate elections and abolishing inter-party preference deals. This would mean that voters could vote for as many or few Senate parties and candidates as they wished and their preferences would be counted exactly as the voter indicated on the ballot instead of following an inter-party preference deal.

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NSWCCL asks for explanation for 'vexatious' charges against CSG protestors

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has written to the Commissioner of Police and Minister for Police asking for an explanation for issuing a ‘trivial’, ‘weak’ and ‘vexatious’ charge against CSG demonstrators, and for assurance that no political purpose or pressure was involved. CCL has also asked the Ombudsman to investigate.

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NSWCCL urges Premier and NSW Parliament to defer or amend Bill extending police 'arrest without warrant' powers

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties today wrote to the NSW Premier, Minister for Police and Attorney General urging the deferral and amendment of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment (Arrest Without Warrant) Bill 2013. A copy of the letter was also sent to all NSW MPs.

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NSWCCL urges NSW Parliament to reject Zoe's Law No. 2

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has written to all NSW State MPs, urging them to heed to widespread concerns of civil society and reject the Crimes Amendment (Zoe's Law) Bill (No. 2) 2013.

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Spreading 'out of control' parties legislation is unnecessary and disproportionate

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties is concerned by the apparent spread of Western Australian legislation aimed at organisers of "out of control" gatherings. The Queensland Government is currently drafting similar legislation that includes imprisonment and significant fines for organisers, including parents of children whose parties become uncontrollable.

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Push for further restrictions on prisoners' right to vote

The NSWCCL opposes the Coalition's policy to widen the disenfranchisement of prisoners by banning those imprisoned for between 1 and 3 years from voting. 

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Submission on the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013 - April 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee concerning the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013.

"Both world-wide historically and in Australia in recent times there has been much discrimination and worse against LGBTI people.1 Unlike, say religious or political views, people cannot change such characteristics (and if they could, they should not be expected to). Though some protection is provided by State and Territory legislation, the provisions vary between these jurisdictions, and their coverage is restricted. The bill will contribute to an improvement in LGBTI persons' situation. We urge its speedy passage--as an important measure until a revised Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill is introduced."

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Submission on the Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 - April 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee concerning the Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013.

"the proposals in the bill have the potential to impact greatly on many Australians, young and old alike, who do not necessarily possess any criminal intent, without providing sufficient nexus to the more serious offences the bill aims to prevent."

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Submission on Federal Court Fee increases since 2010 - April 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee concerning the impact of Federal Court Fee increases since 2010 on access to justice in Australia.

"The ability to access the courts is a civil right. It is essential that persons can access the courts to ensure that they are able to exercise their freedoms and liberties and enforce their rights and others’ obligations.

All persons must, as a matter of their civil rights, have the capacity to access the Federal Court regardless of their financial situation or other means. In addition, the fees associated with accessing the Federal Court must not act as a material detriment to their accessing the court if they judge that doing so is an appropriate course of action."

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Submission on Human Tissue Amendment (Trafficking in Human Organs) Bill - March 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to Greens MPs in relation to their invitation to comment on the draft Human Tissue Amendment (Trafficking in Human Organs) Bill and the accompanying discussion paper.

"We have considered the clauses carefully. We cannot support the proposed legislation.

...CCL holds therefore that legislation which is to operate extra-jurisdictionally outside Australia should be confined to matters where the United Nations has mandated such extrajurisdictional operation in an international treaty."

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