This group focuses on the laws, policies and practices relating to the criminal justice system, police powers, and the legal rights of persons with mental illness. In broad terms the group advocates for the protection of the fundamental rights and liberties of citizens (including the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial) in the justice system. These liberties and rights are currently under pressure from governments.
NSWCCL has made a submission to the Criminal Law Review at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the Inquiry into the right to silence of an accused person
The proposed bill will abolish the right of an accused person to decline to answer questions by police without any adverse inferences being drawn in a subsequent trial by the prosecution or the court. To propose that silence implies guilt or prevarications is irrational and contrary to the fundamental principle of the presumption of innocence.
NSWCCL has made a Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety regarding the Inquiry into Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011
The submission raises a number of concerns, particularly the sharing of Australian information with foreign law enforcement agencies who may support torture/death penalty or may otherwise not employ appropriate protection and security measures concerning the highly sensitive and private nature of prospective data.
NSWCCL has made a submission to the Acting Director General at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the statutory review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW).
The submission questions the impact of harsh penalties such as imprisonment for a relatively minor offence, particularly on predominantly young perpetrators. It also addresses the Act's allowal of the removal 'graffiti' from private property provided that it is visible from a public place - this is an intrusion upon the owners right to property, owners should be free to paint their property or have it painted as desired without third party interference based on a subjective evaluation of the artwork/decoration.
NSWCCL has made a Submission to the Provision of alcohol to minors legislation.
The submission argues that the proposed amendments extend unnecessarily beyond merely ensuring adequate supervision of liquor supply, and may unreasonably criminalise benign activities such as religious rituals involving supply of liquor to minors.
NSWCCL has made a submission to the review of Part Eight of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001
The legislation as presently embodied in Part 8 Crimes (Repeal and Review) Act 2001 (the Act) is contrary to the common law as it has developed over generations of cases here, in England and other common law countries. It is also in contravention of Article 14(7) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Australia has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘the ICCPR’) and has made no reservations concerning double jeopardy or retrospectivity. Australia is therefore obliged ‘to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory...the rights recognised’ in the ICCPR, including the prohibitions against double jeopardy and retrospectivity.
NSWCCL proposes that the legislation be repealed.
The submission discusses the proven inefficacy of drug prohibition. It also highlights the inability for persons without a chemistry background to reasonably interpret the legality of over 200 banned substances as outlined in Schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), making it extremely complicated for most people to understand what they are allowed to buy, possess or sell.
NSWCCL has made a submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Deterring People Smuggling Bill 2011.
We object to the attempt made in the bill to retroactively criminalise the behaviour of so- called people smugglers. People are entitled to certainty about what the law requires of them; but retrospective laws are arbitrary, and deny them that certainty. Imposing criminal sanctions on people for doing what was legal when they did it is necessarily unjust.
There also appears to be a discrepancy between the perception of assisting refugees to arrive by boat (of which safety is a concern), compared to by air (often considered ok).
Refugees are often fleeing persecution or undesirable circumstances and are subsequently highly motivated to 'move on'. Those who assist them should not be demonised on that account.