NSWCCL in the media

NSW inquiry rejects expert advice

Four academics writing in The Conversation criticised Mark Latham's report into his own bill saying that the "inquiry ignores scientific research in supporting changes to the Education Act. These changes are likely to add to the risks of harm that transgender and gender-diverse young people face".

The piece quoted our Tweet stream calling out the inquiry and commending the minority report rather than the majority.

Full article: NSW inquiry rejects expert advice on Parental Rights Bill, and it will cause students to suffer The Conversation 14 Sept '21

 

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Sydney social housing towers residents protest 'overpolicing'

SBS News covered Common Ground Towers residents' protest against 'overpolicing' on Saturday after revelations that officers were searching packages and confiscating alcohol under the direction of NSW Health.

The coverage quoted the open letter we signed with Amnesty International, Legal Observers NSW, Tenants Union NSW, Shelter NSW and Melbourne Activist Legal Support condemning "the inappropriate policing and unlawful searches imposed on residents of Common Ground in Camperdown".

Read the full article:  Sydney social housing towers residents protest 'overpolicing' SBS News 11 Sept '21

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Has pandemic policing gone too far?

Hosted by Julian Morrow, the Round Table on this week's Sunday Extra considered the hard questions about police powers during COVID. Highly restrictive health orders have become part of life over the past 18 months - with the focus now shifting to vaccines, have police powers gone too far? How much of the restrictions will and should be wound back?

Our President Pauline Wright joined Dr Thalia Anthony and Professor Marc Stears on this panel discussion.

Listen here: Sunday Extra 5 Sept '21 ABC Radio National from 2:26 

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SA facial recognition app trial should not go ahead without safeguards

The Guardian reports on an app being trialled in South Australia that uses facial recognition and geolocation to enforce home quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our Secretary Michelle Falstein told the Guardian that the lack of primary legislation underpinning apps of this kind has made it difficult to assess how privacy concerns are managed, how long data is being kept, who it’s shared with, and how it is stored.

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We face a health crisis not a crime wave

The Coast Community News examines the Government's COVID roadmap out of lockdown and talks to our President Pauline Wright about the current restrictions.

“While this deadly pandemic is still around," she said, "we do need to accept there are going to be some limits and we’re going to have to show that we have a licence to go about our business.

However, Wright said she was highly concerned over the range of ‘Stay at Home’ measures brought in by the NSW Government.

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Are vaccine entry requirements discriminatory?

The ABC's James Valentine considers the likelihood of Australia opening up once the vaccine rates climb high enough, and examines what privileges for the vaccinated will look like.

He talks to our President Pauline Wright (from 7 min), asking whether it's discrimination if a restaurant is open only to the vaccinated.

Pauline describes this as discrimination, but not unreasonable discrimination.

"We are used to certain kinds of discrimination being fine," she says. "For example, you would say only people who have a driver's licence can drive a car. That’s potentially discriminatory against people who don’t have a drivers licence, but it’s perfectly reasonable.

And that’s really what we’re talking about here. Our rights and freedoms aren’t absolute - we do have to take our rights and freedoms and compare them to other people’s rights and freedoms and balance that. So if I exercise my right and it has a terrible impact on your rights, then it’s not reasonable for me to be exercising that right in that way.”

For more: Afternoons with James ValentineABC Radio 30 Aug '21

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The tipping point: Are vaccine passports our ticket to ride?

The Law Society Journal asks: 'a ticket to freedom or a rubber-stamped restriction of our rights? As the debate rages about mandating vaccinations or incentivising those who get the jab done with exemptions from border closures and lockdowns, whose side is the law on?'

President Pauline Wright says: “Governments across Australia have the right under our Constitution to impose conditions about who passes their borders, including imposing health restrictions
and proof of vaccination.”

Full article: The tipping point: Are vaccine passports our ticket to ride? Law Society Journal 30 Sept '21

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Cannabis, Covid-19 and Drug Supply

This article by Lamont Law, published on Lexology, begins with the case of a NSW truck driver who smuggled 145kg of cannabis across the QLD/NSW border.

It cites an Australian institute of Criminology report which found that:

  • regular cannabis users reported using cannabis significantly more often than before the pandemic
  • people who had changes in their employment, financial or living situation or mental health were more likely to increase cannabis use
  • many users reported increased prices and decreasing numbers of dealers in Brisbane, Queensland

It considers sentencing for drug offences, planned reforms and our statement condemning a Bill that would provide police with extraordinary powers in circumstances where adequate powers currently exist to search and seize items related to drug activity.

Read the full article: Cannabis, Covid-19 and Drug Supply Lexology 27 Aug '21

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Fines confusion

This Sydney Morning Herald article talks to people fined $1000 for eating outside. It quotes NSWCCL President Pauline Wright, who points out that the Police Commissioner's assurance to police that he wouldn't hold them accountable for wrongly issued fines is “tacit acknowledgement that the rules are difficult to understand.”

“If the police can’t be expected to fully understand them, and it’s their job, how are ordinary people expected to understand and comply as well?” Ms Wright said.

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Police Commissioner's comments a "failure of leadership"

The Sydney Morning Herald writes that, in a video to the force, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller asked officers to "put community policing to the side" for 21 days. He went on to say "I have said before, if you write a ticket, and you get it wrong, I understand, and I won’t hold you to account for that."

Former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions and NSWCCL committee member and former President, Nicholas Cowdery QC, said while it was important all legitimate means be used to deal with the crisis, it was a “failure of leadership to tell officers in advance that if they get something wrong, there will be no consequences”.

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