Anti-protest bill update - community outrage grows

The outrageous Inclosed Lands, Crimes and Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Interference) Bill 2016– better know as the ‘anti-protest’ bill-  will be further debated in the NSW Legislative Council today.

This bill is a deliberate Government attack on the right to public assembly and public protest in NSW and proposes unwarranted and dangerous expansions of discretionary police powers.

This Bill is part of a systematic determination by the NSW Government to constrain effective opposition by the community to reckless  CSG and other mining activities.  

The Bill blatantly privileges the CSG  and mining  interests over the right of the community to protect the public good  - in this case protection of water, agriculture and the environment - through public assembly and peaceful protest.

On Tuesday NSWCCL joined many other groups and 1000 protestors outside Parliament house to vociferously oppose this Bill. The Greens, the ALP and Fred Nile spoke against the Bill. The Law Society and the NSW Bar Council sent letters to the Government  opposing the Bill.  A current survey provides definitive evidence of community opposition to this Bill.

Nonetheless it appears likely that the Bill will today become law with the Shooters and Fishers Party supporting its passage.

Without the numbers to block the Bill in the Legislative Council the ALP and the Greens have proposed amendments which would remove the most obnoxious elements of the Bill.

If the Government is  responsive to community rather than CSG and mining views, they should seize the opportunity provided by these amendments to retreat from this unwarranted and unwise legislation.

Dr Lesley Lynch


Read more about this bill on our website:

Anti-protest laws: what are they and who hates them?

Government and conservative parties force through outrageous anti-protest law

NSWCCL defends free speech and right of dissent on USyd campus

Speech delivered by NSWCCL President Stephen Blanks to Staff and Student Meeting - Defend USYD Civil Liberties at the University of Sydney on Wednesday 29 April 2015.

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to elders past and present.

It is pleasing to see concern about civil liberties as a central issue at the University of Sydney. The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has had strong links with the University since our foundation in 1963.

NSWCCL is joining this meeting today because we are concerned that the University reacting in a disturbingly disproportionate way to the incidents which occurred at the Colonel Richard Kemp lecture on 11 March 2015. 

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50th Anniversary - other speeches

Also at our 50th Anniversary dinner:

Cameron Murphy, CCL life member and former President, introduces the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG


The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG addresses the 50th Anniversary Dinner via video


CCL Secretary Lesley Lynch responds to Carolyn Simpson

50th Anniversary - Stephen Blanks

Stephen Blanks - new CCL President honours the founders and introduces the Hon Justice Carolyn Simpson.

A transcript of the speech is also below:

50th Anniversary - The Hon Justice Carolyn Simpson

At CCL's 50th Anniversary dinner keynote speaker the Hon Justice Simpson delivered a fascinating trawl through NSWCCL's history - stirring memories and offering insights.


A transcript of the speech is also below:

30th Anniversary

The Hon Michael Kirby reflected on our 30th Anniversary in his speech, 'CCL 30 years on - we are all civil libertarians now'.

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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