NSWCCL News

Submission to the inquiry on the Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 [Provisions] - April 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the inquiry on the Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 [Provisions].

CCL participated in the various consultations relating to body scanning over several years. We welcomed the significant moves that were taken to address some of the most intrusive aspects of the earlier proposals. Most significantly this included the move away from capturing raw body images to generic male and female ‘stick figure’ images and the prohibition of any storage of images or data about from the surveillance process.

Unfortunately, the proposed amendments do not deliver on all the protections for health and privacy which we understood would be Government policy.

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Submission to the Legal Committee of the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into law reform issues regarding synthetic drugs - April 2012

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.

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Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee concerning the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 - April 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee concerning the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

The submission argues that it is the best interests of society to allow the marriage of same sex couples, and that the current situation causes harm by perpetuating existing prejudices. It is also fundamentally unjust to provide the many benefits of marriage to heterosexual couples, while denying them to same sex couples without any reasonable cause.

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Submission to the Inquiry on Education Amendment (Ethics) Act 2010 - February 2012

NSWCCL considers the introduction of secular Ethics Classes as an alternative to Special Religious Education (SRE) classes in 2010 to have been an important reform, going some way towards providing parents and children in public schools with long denied, secular options to faith based SRE classes. We are therefore, strongly opposed to the Education Amendment (Ethics Classes Repeal) Bill 2011. It aims to reverse this reform and reinstate the discriminatory denial of any alternative educational activity for children choosing not to attend faith based SRE classes: a truly anomalous denial of rights in public schools which are otherwise required by legislation to provide ‘strictly non-sectarian and secular instruction.

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Submission to Migration Amendment (Removal of Mandatory Minimum Penalties) Bill 2012 - February 2012

NSWCCL supports the passage of the Migration Amendment (Removal of Mandatory Minimum Penalties) Bill 2012. In removing mandatory minimum sentencing provisions in relation to certain people smuggling offences, the Bill redresses a situation which has been incompatible with long held principles of justice which are the foundation of our system of jurisprudence.

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An Open Letter to the Attorney General regarding adverse ASIO Security Assessments - January 2012

NSWCCL and Liberty Victoria have written an Open Letter to the Attorney General regarding adverse ASIO Security Assessments.

There are currently over 50 people in immigration detention in Australia who have been found to be refugees but have received adverse security assessments from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Refugees who are adversely assessed by ASIO are not allowed to know the evidence or the reasoning which underpin the assessment. They have no right to know of or respond to any evidence or allegations taken into account against them

It is fundamental to our democratic system that a person should not face indefinite detention without being allowed to know why, and without the ability to challenge the factual basis and discretionary considerations which are said to support it.

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Submission on issues paper: A Commonwealth Statutory Cause of Action for Serious Invasion of Privacy (Issues Paper) - November 2011

NSWCCL has made a Submission on issues paper: A Commonwealth Statutory Cause of Action for Serious Invasion of Privacy (Issues Paper)

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (CCL) applauds the Government’s reactivation of the discussion on the obvious and pressing need for more effective protections for personal privacy in Australia.

The current Issues Paper is sensibly drawn from the findings of the three LRC reviews and largely directs our attention to the matters of detail that need to be resolved to allow legislation to be drafted and enacted. CCL agrees that this is the appropriate focus for what is hopefully the last round in the discussion of this important matter prior to Government action to bring forward appropriate legislation.

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Submission on issues paper: A Commonwealth Statutory Cause of Action for Serious Invasion of Privacy (Issues Paper) - November 2011

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (CCL) applauds the Government’s reactivation of the discussion on the obvious and pressing need for more effective protections for personal privacy in Australia. The current Issues Paper is sensibly drawn from the findings of the three LRC reviews and largely directs our attention to the matters of detail that need to be resolved to allow legislation to be drafted and enacted.

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Submission in relation to the Inquiry into the Deterring People Smuggling Bill 2011 - November 2011

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.

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Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission concerning its Discussion Paper, released as part of its inquiry into the national classification scheme - November 2011

The purposes of classification have been to determine under what circumstances material may be read, seen or heard, and to give advice as to who should be allowed to experience it. Where classification is refused, the effect is censorship.

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