NSWCCL Submissions

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 to the inquiry into NSW racial vilification laws - March 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Legislative Council Standing Committee's 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.

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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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Submission to the review of the Summary Offences Act 1988 (police move-on powers) - February 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to the NSW Ombudsman concerning their review of the Summary Offences Act 1988 Section 9: Continuation of intoxicated and disorderly behaviour following a move on direction.

The submission expresses concerns regarding the loose definition of 'disorderly' conduct, and the subsequent high degree of discretion granted to police in determining whether behaviour is disorderly.

"In the view of the NSW CCL, behaviour can only be considered 'disorderly' if it disrupts the order of the environment for other people at the time the behaviour takes place or some in the future - behaviour can only be considered 'disorderly' in respect of its impact on other people. It makes no sense for behaviour to be considered disorderly if there is no disorder created for one or more other persons."

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Submission on the use of cannabis for medical purposes - February 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to the NSW Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee no. 4's inquiry into the use of cannabis for medical purposes.

"The NSW Council for Civil Liberties considers that drug use should be addressed as a health issue, not a legal issue.

The use of cannabis for medical purposes should be decriminalised to allow its use if medically qualified people consider that it has health benefits.

The Committee should recommend that a trial of medical cannabis be commenced as soon as practicable."

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Submission to the inquiry into the Exposure Draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 - December 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the inquiry into the Exposure Draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012

NSWCCL supports Australia’s continuing commitment to international human rights instruments, and regards the consolidation of legislation within this Bill as an attempt to meet such obligations.

NSWCCL notes that the operation of the legislation will allow exceptions within areas such as social security, migration and marriage policy. Discrimination in these areas is as arbitrary as anywhere else. NSWCCL opposes these exceptions.

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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

 


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


Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) regarding data retention and certificates of immunity for ASIO officers and their contacts - October 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) regarding data retention and certificates of immunity for ASIO officers and their contacts

In this submission, NSWCCL addresses the following points:

  1. Opposing blanket data retention of all Australian's telecommunications metadata
  2. Response to police submissions concerning possible seeking of additional powers
  3. Opposing the proposal that ASIO officers be granted certificates of immunity from civil and criminal liability

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Submission to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor - October 2012

NSWCCL has made a Submission to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

Questions addressed include:

  1. Is the last resort requirement for a questioning warrant under the ASIO Act too demanding?
  2. Are the time limits (e.g. 7 days detention for 24 hours questioning) applicable to questioning warrants too long, too short or about right?
  3. Are the time limits for questioning warrants where interpreters have been used commensurate with the limits applying otherwise?
  4. Are there sufficient safeguards including judicial review in relation to the surrender or cancellation of passports, in connexion with questi oning warrants?
  5. Is the abrogation of privilege against self-incrimination under a questioning warrant sufficiently balanced by the use immunity?
  6. Do the conditions permitting use of lethal force in enforcing a warrant sufficiently clearly require reasonable apprehension of danger to life or limb?
  7. Are the three several conditions for issuing a questioning and detention warrant stringent enough?
  8. Should anything be done about doubtful aspects of the constitutional validity of control orders and preventative detention orders under the Criminal Code?

View the submission here