NSWCCL in the media

Green Left: Tell Labor to commit to repeal the anti-protest laws

Pressure continues to build on the NSW Labor Parliamentary team in the lead up to NSW Labor Conforence this weekend. Some of the greatest gains in history have been delivered through large-scale protest movements which would not be lawful under the current NSW Government anti-protest laws; the decriminalisation of homosexuality, women’s right to vote and many others. This, no doubt, is weighing heavily on the minds of many community minded Labor MPs who have actively participated in protest actions over recents years.

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: NSW Labor Considers Revoking Draconian Anti-Protest Laws

NSWCCL President, Josh Pallas, spoke to journalist Paul Gregoire in the lead up to the NSW Labor State Conference about the campaign to overturn the draconian anti-protest laws currently in place in New South Wales.

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7NEWS: Fingerprint Scanners installed in Public High School

NSWCCL's Stephen Blanks recently spoke to 7News regarding the installation of fingerprint scanners in Moorebank High School. These machines allow teachers to monitor which students are using the bathrooms in an attempt to stop vandalism. 

Concerns did arise however regarding consent as well as where this information was being stored. "There is no proper process of consent for gathering the data, one of the fundamental privacy principles is data shouldn't be gathered without expressed consent," Blanks said.

For more information, watch the full video

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: Prison Guard Charged with Murder of Aboriginal Detainee

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) NSW announced on 10 August that it was applying to the NSW Supreme Court to have a charge laid against a Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) officer, who shot a Wiradjuri man in the back, upgraded from manslaughter to murder.

To charge a prison guard with the murder of a First Nations detainee is unprecedented in Australia. Indeed, charging the prison guard with manslaughter in relation to the death in February last year was already a first in itself.

“This development means that there’s substantial evidence that the corrective officer involved had the intent to murder,” said Paul Silva, whose been campaigning for reform around Aboriginal deaths in custody since his uncle died at Long Bay Gaol in 2015.

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: First Nations Prison Rate Climbs, Despite Drop in Overall Inmate Numbers

The NSW Bureau of Crimes Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) just released its state custody figures for June 2022, which indicate that inmate numbers have continued on with their downward spiral that commenced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mid-year, there were 12,336 adult prisoners in the NSW correctional system, whilst prior to the onset of the coronavirus, in June 2019, there were 13,403 people inside this state’s prisons, marking a drop of over 1,000 prisoners.

But, in stark contrast, the number of First Nations inmates has continued to rise. Since March, an additional 117 adult Aboriginal people had been incarcerated in state gaols. This led to 3,581 First Nations adults inside in June, as compared with 3,474 back in mid-2019.

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: Big Australian Retailers Sprung Collecting Customer’s Faceprints

Sydney Criminal Lawyer's Paul Gregoire unpacks the implications of Peter Dutton's proposed nationwide facial recognition system. 

This system, known as the Capability, which would link up all federal and state citizen photo identification databases, so law enforcement could identify individuals in CCTV images in real time.

Dutton’s legislation in this regard was never voted through parliament. And various appraisals of the technology have found it is hopelessly flawed, especially when it comes to misidentifying people of colour and women. In fact, UK police found it misidentified subjects 95 percent of the time.

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ABC: Blockade Australia climate activist must let police access phone

NSW police are abusing their powers in imposing bail conditions on peaceful protestors that in effect, shut down political communication and freedom of speech.

NSWCCL President, Josh Pallas spoke with ABC’s Ariel Bogle about this extreme and unwarranted use of the Bail Act. "It is meant to stop people from not appearing in court, from committing other serious offences, or perceived danger to the community, or interfering with witnesses," he said of bail law. "They are peacefully protesting. Where is the threat to security?"

For more information, read the full article.

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NSWCCL: Bail conditions are being weaponised - Where will it end?

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has been advocating for the rights of protestors since 1963 and today we are living in some of the darkest times our members have seen.

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SMH: Experts criticise NSW police efforts to ‘censor’ Australian rappers

Music industry figures and legal experts have criticised a proposal floated by NSW Police that would effectively censor certain forms of hip-hop music in Australia.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph on Monday, NSW Police acting assistant commissioner Jason Weinstein suggested police would contact streaming platforms and ask them to remove music police believe incites violence or criminal activity.

NSW Council of Civil Liberties president Josh Pallas said police in the UK have been “quite effective” in employing take-down requests aimed at drill rappers, and such a move “has the capacity to be absolutely shocking”.

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The Daily Telegraph: Calls for Royal Commission and Federal ICAC to lift lid on ‘secrecy’

Josh Pallas, President NSWCCL adds his voice to calls for the urgent establishment of a federal ICAC with power to investigate law enforcement officials in the wake of allegations about the AFP's handling of claims two alleged mafia assassins were behind the murder of former Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester.

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