NSWCCL Committee

The  Committee manages the business of NSWCCL. It consists of 15 ordinary members (in addition to the Executive members) and is elected annually. The Committee usually meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month. CCL members are welcome to attend - please email [email protected] to confirm date and venue. 

Rebecca McMahon

Rebecca is a criminal defence lawyer practising on the mid-north coast of NSW and in Sydney. A Vice President in 2019-20, she has previously held positions at the NSW DPP, NSW Legal Aid Commission and the Aboriginal Legal Service. She has lectured in Criminal Law, Evidence & Social Justice at the University of NSW and has attained a Masters of Crime and Criminology from UNSW as well as co-authoring the Evidence law text, ‘The Trial’, Hunter et al, Federation Press. Rebecca has lectured in legal advocacy at Tranby Aboriginal College as well as teaching Sentencing at Charles Sturt University.

Rebecca is interested in contributing to law reform, particularly in the areas of criminal law and mental health and is committed to advocating for the rights of vulnerable people within the criminal justice system. She is co-chair of the Bar Book Project and a member of the Law Society’s criminal law committee.



Jonathan Gadir

Jonathan works in privacy law with special focus on new digital ventures and media and entertainment sector. He previously worked in the news media and the NGO sector and taught media, entertainment and communications law.



Dr Lesley Lynch

Dr Lynch was Assistant Secretary in 2019-20. Lesley joined NSWCCL in 2006 because the escalating attacks on civil liberties post 9/11 made it the obvious site for renewed activism. Lesley was elected Assistant Secretary in 2007, Secretary in 2013 and Vice President 2015 - October 2019.   

Lesley has a history of political activism in anti-war and anti-apartheid campaigns, gay liberation and the women’s liberation movement.  Professionally she has been a school teacher, university teacher and researcher in history and politics and, from the 1980s a public servant.  As a member of the senior executive service she worked closely with a number of ministers on strategy and policy issues and was the chair or member of state and national boards and committees. In 2004-5 she worked on AusAid programs in PNG.

Within CCL she has been active on policy issues including national security counter-terrorism and the surveillance state, electoral processes, protest rights, effective anti-corruption bodies at state and federal levels and decriminalisation of abortion. She has been convenor of the Privacy and Freedom of Information and the Justice group and, from 2012-14, the National ASIO Campaign. Lesley is currently convenor of the National Security and Counter Terrorism Action Group and works with civil liberties bodies across Australia to collaborate on national responses to the veritable tsunami of national security/counter terrorism laws and other national issues.  

Lesley has a BA (Hons), Dip Ed and PhD in History from Sydney University.

Dr Martin Bibby

Martin has been a member of the Committee since 2004. He was Assistant Secretary for a number of years and  convener of civil rights subcommittee 2007-2013.  Martin writes a large number of CCL’s submissions in relation to civil liberties and human rights issues. 

Formerly President of: Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia, NSW Institute for Educational Research, Schoolwatch Committee;  Chair of the Board of Educational Philosophy and Theory and the ethics committee of the Australian Association for Research in Education; secretary of the Federation of Australian Postgraduate Associations

Nicholas Cowdery AO, QC FAAL

Nicholas Cowdery AO, QC, was the NSWCCL President from October 2019 to January 2021. A barrister, Nick was the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Australian state of New South Wales from 1994 to 2011. Nick also served as President of the International Association of Prosecutors from 1999 to 2005.

Mr Cowdery was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2003, and an Officer of the Order in June 2019 in recognition of his distinguished service to the law, to the protection of human rights, to professional legal bodies, and to the community.

Hans Heilpern

Hans Heilpern is currently a legal member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. As an academic he developed and taught in the first NSW tertiary courses for police and prison officers.

During the Wran Labor Government he was chief of staff to the Attorney General and later the Director General of the Department of Community Services.

Hans has been a member of a number of Commonwealth and State tribunals and was a member of the NSW Parole Board.

He was a special consultant to Commonwealth Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and the Commonwealth Minister for Health in connection with HIV/AIDS in prison. He was a Commissioner on the Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland.

Malcolm Ramage QC

Malcolm is a barrister specialising in criminal law. He was appointed QC in 1990. Malcolm has been a NSWCCL member since about 1971 and has has held the role of President.

Malcolm is the convenor of the Legal Panel. 





Tomas Ditton


David Bernie


Jared Wilk


Angela Catallo


Sascha Callaghan