NSW Council for Civil Liberties was born out of a protest movement in 1963 and we continue to honour the legacy of the Council’s members who fought against police brutality and for equal rights. Our proud history is built around grassroots action.
Today, we proudly stand beside over sixty civil liberty and human rights organisations that have endorsed the “Declaration of our Right to Protest” which has been developed by the Human Rights Law Centre and in consultation with activists and advocates from around the country.
Sign the petition here.Read more
This week the NSW government revealed its consideration of a revision to hate speech laws. The existing criminalization of hate speech, implemented in 2018, has not led to a single conviction, which Premier Chris Minns sees it as a flaw in the legislation.
The issue of hate speech has gained prominence in recent weeks due to the aftermath of the extensive massacre of over 11,000 Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli state. The Israeli government's intentions have been condemned, while Western allies observe without intervention.
This concern was brought to light when an antisemitic chant briefly broke out during a pro-Palestinian rally at the Sydney Opera House on October 9. The rally aimed to protest the premier's decision to project the Israeli flag onto the building in commemoration of the October 7 killing of over 1,300 Israelis by Hamas.Read more
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has made a submission to the Duty of Care Bill (Climate Change Amendment - Duty of Care and Intergenerational Climate Equity Bill 2023) inquiry.
Australia’s climate change framework currently leaves the Commonwealth unable to properly manage the development of emissions intensive activities. We need decision makers to be compelled to consider the health and wellbeing of current and future children when determining what is acceptable.
We are making our submissions on this Bill on the same day as the “School Students 4 Climate Strike” and are proud to endorse and support the voices of young people on this issue. The Council supports this Bill, and we urge the Commonwealth Government to support it as well.Read more
The NSW Government has recently implemented new legislation that prohibits the act of vilification based on religious belief, affiliation, or activity. The Anti-Discrimination Amendment Act 2023 amends the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977, making it illegal to, through a public act, incite hatred, serious contempt, or severe ridicule towards an individual or group due to their religious beliefs, affiliation, or activities.
The term 'public act' encompasses any form of verbal and non-verbal public communication or conduct.
These amendments complement the existing laws that already prohibit vilification based on race, homosexuality, transgender status, and HIV/AIDS status.Read more
Tamsin Rose: A move to overhaul the law criminalising hate speech in New South Wales following clashes across Sydney amid community tensions over the Israel-Hamas war has sparked debate over the limits of freedom of speech.
The NSW premier, Chris Minns, this week ordered a review of the 2018 law that made it a crime to threaten or incite violence based on race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, because to date crimes under the laws had never been successfully prosecuted.Read more
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) is concerned regarding media reports today that the Premier is moving to tighten the NSW Crimes Act seemingly in response to lobbyists from faith-based organisations.Read more
Ludovico Fabiano, a deputy mayor representing Waverley Council, home to one of Australia's largest Jewish populations, has been sacked after backing a move to condemn Israel's bombing of Gaza.
Recently, Waverley Council voted on a motion to condemn the attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas and give $10,000 to Jewish community organisations in their area. Ludovico Fabiano attempted to amend a motion about the Israel-Gaza conflict to call out "war crimes" by Israel but was voted out of his position during a public meeting on Thursday evening.Read more
In the build up to Labor’s overhaul of the current state Drug Law system NSW recently introduced a two-strike system. Under this scheme, people caught with drugs of any form might be fined approximately $400 up to two times depending on the severity of their conduct and then made to undergo a compulsory training after which their fines will be wiped out. The failure to reform behaviour after the training means that the person will have to pay the required fees.
While this system reduces the number of people charged under criminal law, it still does not remove all of the criminal connotations and surveillance power over the communities.Read more
Today, the High Court of Australia (“HCA”) has ruled that the Government cannot strip Australians who have been convicted of terrorism offences of their citizenship pursuant to section 36D of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
The HCA decision is in response to an appeal that was lodged by convicted terrorist Abdul Nacer Benbrika, who was incarcerated in 2005.
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has long argued that section 36D of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 was invalid and that it did not empower Ministers to strip a person’s citizenship.
We have long held the position that depriving someone of their citizenship should not be a legislative response to any criminal offence – even the most shocking and inhumane offences such as terrorism as it is fundamentally undemocratic.Read more