Submission to the Legislative Council Standing Committee's inquiry into Racial vilification law in NSW - March 2013
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.
"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."
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.
Submission to the NSW Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee no. 4 Inquiry into the use of cannabis for medical purposes - February 2013
"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."
Submission to the inquiry into the Exposure Draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 - December 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.
Submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Migration and Security Legislation Amendment (Review of Security Assessments) Bill 2012 - December 2012
The Migration and Security Legislation Amendment (Review of Security Assessments) Bill 2012 addresses numerous voids in the current system in operation with regard to refugees classed as representing an adverse security risk. Most importantly, it is submitted 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.
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.
The NSWCCL thanks the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) for the invitation to make 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
In this submission, NSWCCL addresses the following points:
- Opposing blanket data retention of all Australian's telecommunications metadata
- Response to police submissions concerning possible seeking of additional powers
- Opposing the proposal that ASIO officers be granted certificates of immunity from civil and criminal liability
Although terrorism has been a problem for hundreds of years, the Twin Towers attack in New York and the London and Bali bombings led to the passage of a great deal of legislation which might have been justified if the problem, like a war, could be expected to be concluded in a few years. However, it is plain—indeed, it was always plain— that terrorism is not going away. It is time to consider which of the laws we have passed should be kept, which modified, and which should be repealed.