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NSWCCL gives evidence at inquiry into NSW racial vilification laws

As reported by ABC news, members of NSWCCL recently appeared before the New South Wales Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice to give evidence relating to the inquiry into racial vilification law in NSW.

Secretary Stephen Blanks called for reform of the laws, stating that the bar for prosecutions has been set too high, as shown by the absence of any prosecutions.

NSWCCL believes that the sections under review have failed to legitimately criminalise serious racial vilification. Further, it is possible to reform the legislation to be more effective, whilst also maintaining the right to free speech.

Click here for the submission

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Submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Migration and Security Legislation Amendment (Review of Security Assessments) Bill 2012 - December 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Migration and Security Legislation
Amendment (Review of Security Assessments) Bill 2012.

NSWCCL respectfully submits that:

  • The Bill should clearly provide that detention of citizens and non-citizens alike should not be permissible solely on the basis of being issued an adverse security assessment.
  • A statement of reasons for an adverse security assessment is rendered ineffective without an acceptable avenue for appeal and an explicit minimum degree of content.
  • Merits review by way of expansion of the jurisdiction of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is strongly preferable to the Independent Reviewer scheme.
  • The Special Advocate model as proposed in this Bill requires expansion in order to facilitate procedural fairness.
  • NSWCCL supports the provisions in the Bill for regular review of assessments on a prescribed basis, in order to ensure Australia complies with international human rights obligations.
  • A notable decrease in ASIO’s disclosure reflects a lack of transparency and accountability, both of which are required from an organisation acting in the interest of national security. The Bill should mandate a minimum level of ASIO reporting.

Click here for the submission

 


NSWCCL vehemently opposes excising Australia from the Migration Zone

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has lodged with the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee a submission vehemently opposing the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill.

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Submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - December 2012

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has lodged with the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee a submission vehemently opposing the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill.

NSWCCL respectfully submits that:

  1. The Bill should clearly provide that detention of citizens and non-citizens alike should not be permissible solely on the basis of being issued an adverse security assessment.
  2. A statement of reasons for an adverse security assessment is rendered ineffective without an acceptable avenue for appeal and an explicit minimum degree of content.
  3. Merits review by way of expansion of the jurisdiction of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is strongly preferable to the Independent Reviewer scheme.
  4. The Special Advocate model as proposed in this Bill requires expansion in order to facilitate procedural fairness.
  5. NSWCCL supports the provisions in the Bill for regular review of assessments on a prescribed basis, in order to ensure Australia complies with international human rights obligations.
  6. A notable decrease in ASIO’s disclosure reflects a lack of transparency and accountability, both of which are required from an organisation acting in the interest of national security. The Bill should mandate a minimum level of ASIO reporting.

Click here for the submission

Click here for the media release regarding this submission


State government misses historic opportunity to repeal 'dangerous' bail laws

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties today labelled the State Government response to the Law Reform Commission report on bail a “major disappointment”.

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Annual John Marsden Memorial Lecture 2012

The times they are a-changing: where to for the criminal law in NSW? Nicholas Cowdery - AM QC BA LLB FAAL spoke at the John Marsden Memorial Lecture.

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Free speech and the politics of hate

Over 350 people gathered in the CBD Sky Phoenix Restaurant on Friday 19 October 2012 to support the NSWCCL Annual Dinner. David Marr, delivered the keynote address on Free Speech and the Politics of Hate.

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An Open Letter to the Attorney General regarding adverse ASIO Security Assessments - January 2012

NSWCCL and Liberty Victoria have written an Open Letter to the Attorney General regarding adverse ASIO Security Assessments.

There are currently over 50 people in immigration detention in Australia who have been found to be refugees but have received adverse security assessments from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Refugees who are adversely assessed by ASIO are not allowed to know the evidence or the reasoning which underpin the assessment. They have no right to know of or respond to any evidence or allegations taken into account against them

It is fundamental to our democratic system that a person should not face indefinite detention without being allowed to know why, and without the ability to challenge the factual basis and discretionary considerations which are said to support it.

Read the full letter here