The Guardian: NSW police allegedly Taser 95-year-old woman with dementia, leaving her with fractured skull
A 95-year-old woman with dementia is in hospital with a suspected fractured skull and “brain bleed” after she was allegedly Tasered by police at Cooma’s Yallambee Lodge.
The woman was claimed to have been tasered in the early hours on Wednesday morning after she was found wandering the aged care facility with a knife in her hand.
“The family are grieving because they don’t expect their nan to make it through the the day, or tomorrow at the latest,” Andrew Thaler, independent candidate for Eden-Monaro said.
Josh Pallas, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, called on police to cease deploying Tasers on vulnerable people following the incident.Read more
This project originated when deputy editor of Guardian Australia, Will Woodward, requested a piece that included the number of people that had died since the royal commission after a 22 year old Indigenous woman named Ms Dhu died in police custody in Western Australia while serving time for unpaid fines.
Calla Wahlquist, who was reporting on Ms Dhu's death, was unable to figure out the number as, ''[the AIC] didn’t have any data available.”Read more
After the release of the federal budget, some groups who missed out on crucial funding are grappling with what it means for their future work including Australia's frontline Aboriginal Legal Services.
They had made a plea for $250 million dollars in emergency funds to keep up with record demand and try to tackle staffing shortages but it was denied, meaning the ALS has had to suspend its work in more than a dozen courts in regional New South Wales.
Long time NSW Council for Civil Liberties committee member, Nicholas Cowdery spoke to ABC News regarding the ALS funding crisis.Read more
Sydney Criminal Lawyers: The Proposed “Voluntary” National Digital ID System May Involve Facial Recognition
In late January of this year, news bulletins included details about the just released user audit report into myGov: “the government’s front door for digital services and support”, or put more plainly, a digital platform that currently links users to fifteen government services, including Medicare and Centrelink.
“myGov is critical national infrastructure” was the key takeaway, which was reiterated throughout the media, along with the ever-increasing use of myGov warranting greater investment to improve it in terms of expanding available services and making them less fragmented online.
But what wasn’t so front and centre was a report recommendation calling for the acceleration of the “development of Australia’s national digital identity ecosystem”, and that this online scheme, which will involve biometric facial recognition technology, should perhaps be integrated into myGov.Read more
Knitting Nannas and supporters gathered outside the NSW Supreme Court on May 10 to support climate activists and Nannas Dominique Jacobs and Helen Kvelde challenge New South Wales undemocratic anti-protest laws, Green Left's Rachel Evans reports.
This challenged has been filed by the Environmental Defenders Office, who believe that the protest laws are “so broad that a group of people could face serious criminal charges simply by protesting near a railway station and causing people to be redirected around them”.Read more
Australia’s decision in November 2022 to prioritise Myanmar nationals for humanitarian visas sends a clear signal that Australia recognises the humanitarian disaster in post-coup Myanmar and we welcome this decision. However, we believe the Australian Government should seize this moment to also include the Rohingya in this arrangement.Read more
|Our event at Sydney University Law School brought together a stellar group of activists, students, academics, lawyers and civil society. We know that activism changes history and the right to stand together and peacefully protest must be protected and defended for every citizen not pared back. Peaceful protestors should never face incarceration. Our panel spoke from the perspectives of their lived experiences and generously shared their passion for maintaining our democratic rights to speak freely in society and to hold government and corporations to account through protest action. We thank Jeff, Amal, Kavita Luc and Simon for their time and extraordinary expertise (bio's below)! If you missed this event you can catch up here.|
NSWCCL lauded the government's decision in February to grant permanent residency visas to 19,000 asylum seekers on temporary protection visas, but there are still thousands of people stuck in limbo both in Australia and at off-shore processing centres. This is just not good enough from a Labor government promising compassion.
Pauline Hanson clashed with NSW Council for Civil Liberties President, Josh Pallas during a senate inquiry into the Covid-19 vaccination status. Mr Pallas stated the NSWCCL argued that governments should not mandate vaccines outside of settings where the risk of transmission was high, such as in healthcare settings.
He also stated that the decision should be on individual businesses to decide whether employees should need to be vaccinated based on “their own circumstances” and whether unvaccinated staff would present a safety risk.Read more
ALS (NSW/ACT): Emergency funding needed to prevent imminent service freezes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services
MEDIA STATEMENT - Issued in partnership with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement South Australia, Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, Tasmanian Aboriginal Legal Service, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) around Australia are calling on the federal government to deliver a $250 million emergency support package to prevent imminent service freezes and unjust incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
At the frontline, certain service locations in regional Australia face freezes within four weeks. A dramatic increase in service freezes can only be prevented or reversed with additional core funding from the Commonwealth.Read more
The interim economic inclusion committee has recently released a report that sets out the catastrophic impact that the current rate of the jobseeker payment has had on many Australians. Currently, only $50 a day is payable to a single individual, which is two-thirds of the single rate of age pension. This is completely unsustainable for anyone living in modern Australia.Read more
NSW Council for Civil Liberties committee member Stephen Blanks yesterday told a hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in regard to The Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2023 (the Bill) that the legislation didn’t “go to the heart of the problem”.
Mr Blanks argued criminal law was only one of the required tools to prevent Nazi ideology and wouldn’t be enough on its own. Freedom of expression does not give licence to individuals to engage in expression which engenders hate and incites violence. He said the proposed legislation must iron out any doubts over people who might be displaying Nazy symbols for educational purposes or other reasons who weren’t about promoting hateful ideology.Read more
NSW Council for Civil Liberties President, Josh Pallas, appeared before the Senate Committee on Education and Employment Legislation yesterday. The Bills being considered are sponsored by Senators Pauline Hanson and Matt Canavan. They suggest that States should not be able to restrict freedom of movement from State to State of any Australian citizen and they suggest that employers should not be able to ask an employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
In our view, the Bills in question, unreasonably and disproportionately protect the unvaccinated at the expense of the rights of other members of the community. Based on the generally accepted medical science, the Bills are incompatible with human rights.Read more
The Guardian: National ban on Nazi salute and insignia would help prevent far-right radicalisation, Asio says
Australia’s domestic intelligence agency Asio has welcomed a Coalition bill to ban Nazi symbols including the Sieg Heil salute, telling a parliamentary inquiry it would help prevent recruitment and radicalisation by far-right extremists.
The Victorian Government announced thay would implement a ban of the salute after a group of men from the National Socialist Network repeatedly performed the salute on the steps of Victoria’s parliament last month. This prompted shadow attorney general, Michaelia Cash to introduce a federal bill.Read more
The Australian government has agreed to release the full findings of the Double Six tragedy where a Nomad N-22B aircraft crashed and killed 11 people in 1976.
Australia's Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney yesterday decided to allow the release in its entirety of Australia's reports on the tragedy. This followed a request made to National Archives of Australia (NAA) by the former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Harris Mohd Salleh.Read more
Submission: Inquiry into the Administration of the Referendum into an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee (Committee) in regard to the administration of the referendum into an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice (Referendum).
NSWCCL's submission focuses on key issues relating to the disenfranchisement of First Nations people, misinformation and disinformation, and the ongoing integrity and assurance process of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).Read more
Submission: The Provisions of the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) 2023 Bill.
We support the Voice as an enactment of the Uluru Statement of the Heart, and the proposed amendment to the Constitution of Australia. We submit that the proposed wording is appropriate and should be put to the Australian people in its current form.
Whilst this Inquiry is based on the wording of the proposed amendment, we observe that many submissions provided are more concerned with the concept of the Voice, laced with unfounded fears and scaremongering, akin to those upon the introduction of the Native Title Act 1993. In our submission, we call on the Committee to consider such submissions in that light.Read more
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in regard to The Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2023 (the Bill).
Freedom of expression does not give licence to individuals to engage in expression which engenders hate and incites violence. To that end, we support the principles underpinning the bill. However, the council believes it is the promotion of Nazi ideology which should be criminalised. To the extent that this Bill falls short of that objective, it is inadequate. It seeks to criminalise only one aspect of the promotion of Nazi ideology – the display of Nazi symbols. That does not go to the heart of the problem. Careful consideration of how to prevent the promotion of Nazi ideology is required – the criminal law is only one of the required tools; other tools are required – education, engagement, diversion – and the criminalised conduct should be the core of the offensive conduct, not a superficial aspect.
In a recent submission to a review of anti-discrimination laws, the Presbyterian Church of Australia argued for the right to exclude students from leadership positions, such as school captain, if they were having pre-marital sex or in a same-sex relationship arguing that "They would not be able to give appropriate Christian leadership in a Christian school which requires modelling Christian living", AAP reports.
The NSW Council of Civil Liberties said the proposal seemed punitive and would have a chilling effect on student morale.Read more
The UN has adopted a historic resolution that will make it easier to hold polluting countries legally accountable for their failure to act on the climate crisis. The resolution calls for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue an official opinion that will clarify that obligations that nations have to tackle the climate crisis, and the consequences they should face for inaction.Read more