News

Submission: Review of the Summary Offences Act 1988 (police move-on powers)

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."

Click here for the submission

Share

Submission: Inquiry into the use of cannabis for medical purposes

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."

Click here for the submission

Share

Submission: Inquiry into the Exposure Draft of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 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.

Click here for the submission

Share

Submission: Inquiry into the Migration and Security Legislation Amendment (Review of Security Assessments) Bill 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.

View submission

Share

NSWCCL vehemently opposes excising Australia from the Migration Zone

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.

Read more
Share

State government misses historic opportunity to repeal 'dangerous' bail laws

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties today labelled the State Government response to the Law Reform Commission report on bail a “major disappointment”.

Read more
Share

Annual John Marsden Memorial Lecture 2012

The times they are a-changing: where to for the criminal law in NSW? Nicholas Cowdery - AM QC BA LLB FAAL spoke at the John Marsden Memorial Lecture.

Read more
Share

2012 Annual Dinner

Over 350 people gathered in the CBD Sky Phoenix Restaurant on Friday 19 October 2012 to support the NSWCCL Annual Dinner.

Professor George Williams AO tonight launched a national campaign led by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties to wind back the excessive and disproportionate powers given to ASIO in the decade since 9/11. "The greatest assault on civil liberties in Australia since World War II."

Read more
Share

Submission: Data retention and certificates of immunity for ASIO officers and their contacts

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

View the submission

Share

Free speech and the politics of hate

Over 350 people gathered in the CBD Sky Phoenix Restaurant on Friday 19 October 2012 to support the NSWCCL Annual Dinner. David Marr, delivered the keynote address on Free Speech and the Politics of Hate.

Read more
Share

Submission: Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

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

Share

NSWCCL launches national fightback to roll back extraordinary ASIO powers

"The greatest assault on civil liberties in Australia since World War II." Professor George Williams AO tonight launched a national campaign led by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties to wind back the excessive and disproportionate powers given to ASIO in the decade since 9/11.

Read more
Share

Submission: Review of Australia's Counter-Terrorism Legislation 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the COAG Review of Australia's Counter-Terrorism Legislation 2012

Although terrorism has been a problem for hundreds of years, the Twin Tours 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 expe cted 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.

An argument is also made for the need for an Australian Bill of Rights. Without a Bill of Rights, the courts in Australia are unable to protect people from laws that violate fundamental principles of international human rights law; that expose Australians and aliens to risks to their liberties.

View the submission here

 

Share

Submission: The Partial Defence of Provocation

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties reiterates its opposition to any significant changes to the existing partial defence in the absence of a compelling case to the contrary.

View the submission here

Share

Submission: to Wollongong City Council concerning the draft CCTV Program - Code of Practice (the draft Code)

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Wollongong City Council concerning the draft CCTV Program - Code of Practice (the draft Code)

NSWCCL expresses concerns that the draft code introduces "unjustified invasions of privacy". We commend the Council on its proposal for a proposed CCTV Camera Program Evaluation Committee for further review of the draft code.

View the submission here

Share

Submission: Inquiry into the right to silence of an accused person

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.

View the submission here

Share

Submission: Inquiry into Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

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.

View the submission

Share

Submission: Inquiry into potential reforms of the National Security Legislation

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Joint Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) regarding the Inquiry into potential reforms of the National Security Legislation.

NSWCCL accepts the argument that there is a need to update and rework the relevant legislation in light of technological advances and successive amendments. However, neither of these drivers, in themselves, provides justification for an extension of powers or reduction in accountability for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, nor for the further erosion of individual privacy, civil liberties and democratic values.

View the submission here

Share

Submission: Statutory review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW)

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.

View the submission here

Share

Submission: Provision of alcohol to minors legislation

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.

View the submission here

Share