This Group covers a broad range of civil liberties and human rights issues, focussing on those that don’t naturally fall within the other groups. Priority areas in the last few years have included: a Human Rights Act for NSW, along with the ongoing campaign for an Australian Charter of Rights; climate justice; LGBTIQ+ rights, women’s rights; anti-discrimination law; freedom of expression; and achieving better and more democratic governance through balanced and effective anti-corruption bodies and reform of the framework for delegated legislation.
We also track Australia's human rights violations.
A current focus area is our right to protest
On 18 November NSWCCL made a submission to the Inquiry into the Provisions of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021.
We encourage NSW residents to let the Inquiry know how you feel via its online questionnaire (closing date Monday 22 November).
NSWCCL strongly supports the Bill, which has very strong public support and is long overdue. Death may be inevitable, but it need not be cruel.Read more
In a landmark development for environmental activists, the UN recently recognised the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
With 24% of global deaths linked to environmental threats according to the WHO, it is to be hoped that this right could be used at this week's COP-26 meeting in Glasgow and beyond to further climate action.Read more
NSWCCL wrote to David Shoebridge MLC to express support for his draft Children (Criminal Proceedings) Amendment (Age of Criminal Responsibility) Bill 2021.
Raising the age of criminal responsibility to fourteen years and prohibiting the exposure of all children under the age of sixteen to the detention system will fundamentally improve the rights of children in New South Wales and Australia’s compliance with its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We have asked some questions about the draft bill to make sure it covers all bases for keeping children out of custody, but the bill would be a great step forward for children’s rights in New South Wales if it were to pass.
You can have your say about the draft bill here.
Adopted at the 2021 AGM
For the rest of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in a future crisis, the NSW and Commonwealth parliaments ensure that our system of crisis law-making is fit for purpose, including by:
- embedding human rights scrutiny into all emergency responses, including through the operation of a charter of human rights;
- subjecting all delegated legislative crisis powers to legislative tests for likely effectiveness, necessity, and proportionality;
- eliminating the presence of poor regulation-making practices such as Henry VIII clauses or ‘skeleton legislation’ in crisis legislation;
- mandating that changes to the law that seriously affect our core civil and human rights are enacted in primary legislation;
Update 29 October: The below limits are still in place with an additional 1000 person cap on COVID safe community sports (latest updates here).
Under the latest Public Health Order, protests are limited to 50 people - or 200 if the protest is COVID safe.
Meanwhile, ticketed events of up to 3000 people are permitted.
Our right to protest should not be limited in this way: if it's safe for 3000 people to attend commercial events, larger COVID-safe protests are surely safe too.Read more
A diverse group of community organisations has come together once again to continue efforts to stop One Nation from harming our education system and the wellbeing of our children.
In our joint media release, we condemn the inquiry into the Bill, which was run by Mark Latham himself in an abuse of democratic process.
We are fighting One Nation's Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020 because it is:
discriminatory and cruel.
incompatible with existing laws and protections.
injurious to fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression.
harmful to teachers, students and education in NSW.
unnecessary and, in some areas, incoherent.
- Today's media release
- Latham Inquiry makes a mockery of the committee process - NSWCCL 8 Sept '21
- NSWCCL joins public statement opposing NSW One Nation Education Bill - NSWCCL 18 Aug '20
According to an ABC report, people who have tested positive for COVID are being forced to stay inside their homes for weeks longer than the typical 14-day isolation period because of delays in paperwork, according to a member of a NSW public health call centre in a Sydney hotspot.
We wrote to Health Minister Brad Hazzard about this and our concerns about vaccine passports.
More information: Read our letter to the Health Minister
NSWCCL wrote to the Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese and the Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus to support the commitment in Labor’s national platform to review the Human Rights Framework established by previous Labor governments and consider whether it could be enhanced through a statutory charter of human rights or other similar instrument. We called for a commitment to that review in the first hundred days of the next Labor government as a catalyst to reform Australia’s ethical infrastructure.
More information: read our letter
NSWCCL joins Amnesty International, LONSW, Shelter and TUNSW in condemning the inappropriate policing and unlawful searches imposed on residents of Common Ground in Camperdown. We stand in solidarity with the residents in lockdown. Below is our joint open letter - also published on the Legal Observers NSW websiteRead more