censorship: war on free speech
update: Classification review board's decision
The decision in NSWCCL's case against the Classification Review
Board in relation to the Islamic books came down on Thursday
14 June. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, NSWCCL's
application was dismissed.
The decision is NSW Council for Civil Liberties Inc v Classification
Review Board (No. 2)  FCA 896. You can read the decision
We are considering an appeal.
previously on this issue...
CCL founding member and leading Australian author Frank Moorhouse
explores recent acts
of suppression of free speech and censorship in The
ccl challenges book banning decision
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has commenced proceedings
in the Federal Court of Australia against the Classification
Review Board and the Attorney General (Commonwealth) seeking
judicial review of the decisions of the Board to refuse classification
to two books.
The two books are Defence of the Muslim Lands and
Join the Caravan by Abdullah Azzam, both written in
the early 1980’s.
You can read the decisions of the Classification Review Board
in relation to Defence
of the Muslim Lands and Join
the Caravan by following the links.
You can read CCL’s application to the Federal Court here
(29 September 2006).
...But you can’t read the books !!!
Even News Limited is now reporting the story as
police seize control even though it was its own The Daily
Telegraph that initially drew attention to the books and prompted
the Government to push for the ban.
ban anger, it will hinder freedoms”, reports The
Sydney Morning Herald newspaper (4 October 2006)
The banning of the books was the subject of the ABC
Radio National Perspective program on 6 October
The Court proceedings will be heard on 28 November 2006. They
are open to the public.
The Council of Australian University
Librarians, the Australian Library and Information Association,
the Australian Society of Authors and the International Federation
of Library Associations and Institutions say the book bans threaten
both our freedoms and our capacity to respond to terrorism.
another challenge to book banning
NSW Council for Civil Liberties has been recognised by the
Classification Review Board as an interested party in the Commonwealth
Government's latest attempt to ban The Peaceful Pill Handbook
by Dr Philip Nitschke and Dr Fiona Stewart.
The Attorney General (Commonwealth) and the Right to Life Association
(NSW) have applied to the Review Board to review the December
2006 decision of the Classification Board to classify the book
Restricted R1 - which means that it can be sold only in a sealed
can read the Board's decision here.
opposes the banning of this book on the grounds that the
'effort required to criminalise people who are seeking, in good
faith, to access information and ideas is corrosive to society
as a whole'.
CCL's submission to the Board is in two parts:
1 (general legal submission)
2 has been written by CCL member and prominent author,
Mr Frank Moorhouse.
CCL has consistently opposed the Government's attempts to prevent
people from having access to information about suicide. See
submission to the Senate inquiry on the Criminal Code Amendment
(Suicide Related Material Offences) Bill 2005.
adultshop.com challenges censorship
As reported in the Sydney
Morning Herald on 20 November 2006, Adultshop.com is challenging
the policy of classifying X18+ films depicting real sex but
which have no artistic merit (ie pornography). The basis of
Adultshop.com's challenge is that the censorship system should
recognise that community standards have changed from years ago,
and that a substantial majority of adults now believe that such
material is not offensive to morality or propriety.
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has lodged a submission
advocating that the Board's responsibility is to properly assess
community standards, and not simply impose their own opinions.
can read our submission here.
Classification: lists books, films and games refused
classification in Australia (which effectively bans them)