NSWCCL News

Call for submissions for this year's NSWCCL awards

Nominations are now open for the NSWCCL annual awards, with two new awards adding to our established journalism awards: the NSWCCL activist of the year and the Kafka award.

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New direction puts vulnerable refugees at risk

A new Direction from the Minister for Immigration, governing how decision-makers must approach visa refusal and cancellation, creates serious risks for vulnerable people. Refugees could see their visas cancelled relying on Family Violence Orders that are then found to be unsubstantiated; minor children are at risk of being separated from their parents; and survivors of family violence may be deterred from seeking assistance.

The NSWCCL calls for the immediate replacement of Direction 90.

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Letter: Bring Julian Assange home

Though he is not convicted of any offence under UK law, Julian Assange continues to be held as a prisoner in the same conditions as convicted murderers. His mental and physical health have been seriously compromised.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has written to the Prime Minister calling on the Australian Government to bring home Julian Assange and exert its diplomatic influence to end his unjust prosecution.

Similar letters were sent to the Leader of the Opposition and the Parliamentary Friends of the Bring Julian Assange Home Group. 

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NSW Council for Civil Liberties raises concern that affirmative consent laws could backfire

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (CCL) welcomes the NSW Attorney General taking measures to address confusion around consent in sexual assault matters, but urges caution around proposed changes to the law. 

“Consent is an inherently difficult issue to determine in the courts,” said CCL President, Pauline Wright “and will remain so no matter how the law tries to define it. We have to be very careful about how we define consent, because changes could backfire.”

“Clarifying that a person is entitled to withdraw their consent at any time or to give consent to one kind of act but not another is a good idea, but care must be taken to ensure that changes do not have unintended consequences” said Ms Wright.

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Submission: Inquiry into environmental planning instruments (SEPPs)

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the NSW Legislative Council Regulation Committee Inquiry into Environmental Planning Instruments (SEPPs).

NSWCCL makes this submission for a number of key reasons:

a. To ensure that adequate safeguards are in place for the creation of SEPPs in recognition that parliament is the supreme law making body in the state;

b. In recognition that the climate change poses a significant and increasing threat to the ability for citizens’ and others residents’ civil liberties and human rights, and that any decisions made which concern the environment should be appreciative of the adverse effects of climate change; and,

c. In recognition that First Nations communities voices should be recognised and afforded significant weight in the development of environmental and planning policy.

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Urgent request: “legacy caseload” refugees

NSWCCL is asking its members, as a matter of urgency, to contact the Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, and/or the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, asking for more time for members of the legacy caseload to submit updated applications for asylum, before their cases are heard.  

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Missing in action? Or shouting into the void?

The Sydney Morning Heral's Michael Koziol looks back at a year during which civil liberties became an 'acceptable casualty' of efforts to counter the pandemic. He asks: "But what of the civil libertarians and rights organisations whose job – whose raison d’etre – is to fight for individual freedoms against state power? Did they abandon the field? Or have they been fruitlessly shouting into the void?"

NSW President Pauline Wright says that activists were very active, but rarely heard.

Read the full article here: ‘Missing in action’: What happened to the civil liberties movement?

 

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Commonwealth Ombudsman: Only nine of nearly 2000 accesses to LBS by ACT Policing were properly authorised

MEDIA RELEASE

NSWCCL is gravely concerned by a recent Report1 from the Commonwealth Ombudsman, which identified that many of the authorisations made by ACT Policing for access to telecommunications data between 13 October 2015 and 2019 were not properly authorised. Of the 1,713 individual accesses to location-based services (LBS) by ACT Policing for that period, only nine were fully compliant with the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (TIA Act).

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Legal challenge to travel bans

Statement from President of NSW Council for Civil Liberties on Legal Challenges to Travel Bans


NSW Council for Civil Liberties welcomes the significant separate legal challenges commenced today to the travel bans.

Both the harsh criminal penalties facing returning Australians and the authoritarian exit bans are causing great distress for tens of thousands of people.

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Rule of Law webathon

Black Lives Matter - an Australian perspective

NSWCCL hosted Australia's contribition to the International Rule Of Law Webathon on Weds 5 May 2021. You can view our session with others from around the world on YouTube here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmsQriH1wcIYhwON5ncdUuQ

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