Criminal justice, police powers and mental health

Submission to the Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation - October 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties reiterates its opposition to any significant changes to the existing partial defence in the absence of a compelling case to the contrary.

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Submission to the Criminal Law Review at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the Inquiry into the right to silence of an accused person - September 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Criminal Law Review at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the Inquiry into the right to silence of an accused person

The proposed bill will abolish the right of an accused person to decline to answer questions by police without any adverse inferences being drawn in a subsequent trial by the prosecution or the court. To propose that silence implies guilt or prevarications is irrational and contrary to the fundamental principle of the presumption of innocence.

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Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety regarding the Inquiry into Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 - August 2012

NSWCCL has made a Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety regarding the Inquiry into Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

The submission raises a number of concerns, particularly the sharing of Australian information with foreign law enforcement agencies who may support torture/death penalty or may otherwise not employ appropriate protection and security measures concerning the highly sensitive and private nature of prospective data.

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Submission to the Acting Director General at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the statuatory review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW) - August 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Acting Director General at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the statutory review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW).

The submission questions the impact of harsh penalties such as imprisonment for a relatively minor offence, particularly on predominantly young perpetrators. It also addresses the Act's allowal of the removal 'graffiti' from private property provided that it is visible from a public place - this is an intrusion upon the owners right to property, owners should be free to paint their property or have it painted as desired without third party interference based on a subjective evaluation of the artwork/decoration.

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Submission to the Provision of alcohol to minors legislation - August 2012

NSWCCL has made a Submission to the Provision of alcohol to minors legislation.

The submission argues that the proposed amendments extend unnecessarily beyond merely ensuring adequate supervision of liquor supply, and may unreasonably criminalise benign activities such as religious rituals involving supply of liquor to minors.

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Submission to the review of Part Eight of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 - May 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the review of Part Eight of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001

The legislation as presently embodied in Part 8 Crimes (Repeal and Review) Act 2001 (the Act) is contrary to the common law as it has developed over generations of cases here, in England and other common law countries. It is also in contravention of Article 14(7) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Australia has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘the ICCPR’) and has made no reservations concerning double jeopardy or retrospectivity. Australia is therefore obliged ‘to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory...the rights recognised’ in the ICCPR, including the prohibitions against double jeopardy and retrospectivity.

NSWCCL proposes that the legislation be repealed.

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Submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Deterring People Smuggling Bill 2011 - November 2011

NSWCCL has made a submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Deterring People Smuggling Bill 2011.

We object to the attempt made in the bill to retroactively criminalise the behaviour of so- called people smugglers. People are entitled to certainty about what the law requires of them; but retrospective laws are arbitrary, and deny them that certainty. Imposing criminal sanctions on people for doing what was legal when they did it is necessarily unjust.

There also appears to be a discrepancy between the perception of assisting refugees to arrive by boat (of which safety is a concern), compared to by air (often considered ok).

Refugees are often fleeing persecution or undesirable circumstances and are subsequently highly motivated to 'move on'. Those who assist them should not be demonised on that account.

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