NSWCCL in the media

CityHub: “Punitive measures simply don’t work”: Premier criticised for new youth crime laws

Premier Chris Minns is under intense scrutiny following the NSW Government's announcement of new legislation aimed at toughening the stance on youth crime, which will tighten the criteria for granting bail to young offenders.

The premier has dismissed the possibility of raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14, a move criticised as “knee-jerk law and order response”.

Moreover, teenagers who engage in "post and boast" behavior on social media will now face an additional two years added to their prison sentences.

These policy changes are framed as efforts to address rising crime rates in regional NSW according to government statements.

However, there are widespread concerns that these reforms may result in more children being incarcerated and could exacerbate the state's challenges in meeting the"Closing the Gap" targets.

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CityHub: New LGBTQ+ legislation is welcome, but not enough, says Dr Amanda Cohn

The long-awaited legislation to ban LGBTQ+ conversion practices was finally tabled by the Attorney General on Wednesday.

Dr. Amanda Cohn, spokesperson for NSW Greens spokesperson for LGBTQIA+ affairs described the changes as "overdue" and "welcome," yet emphasised the need for further progress. She highlighted the legislation's origins in the tireless advocacy of conversion practice survivors over the years, noting that while it now aligns NSW with standards seen in other states and territories, NSW still harbors the worst laws for LGBTQ+ individuals.

"As one example, NSW is the only jurisdiction that forces people to have invasive and medically unnecessary genital surgery to change their gender on official documents,” she said.

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Media Statement - NSW laws should not harm children

NSW Council for Civil Liberties is horrified about the announcement by the Minns Government to tighten NSW bail laws for children. 

Tightening bail laws to keep children locked up hasn’t worked in a single place it’s been tried. Prisons are no place for children and young people, this is a step backwards for criminal justice in NSW not a step forwards.

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: Mardi Gras May Have Passed, But NSW Police Remains a Rogue Force

The Mardi Gras Board recently requested members of the NSW Police Force to refrain from participating in the 2024 parade, to allow for a period for collective mourning after the tragic shooting of two gay men allegedly by Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon.

Despite this, pressure from the NSW Premier Chris Minns and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese resulted in a compromise where LGBTIQA+ officers participated in the parade wearing plainclothes. On the night of the parade, their section was additionally accompanied by armed riot squad officers. 

This compromise sparked debate and scrutiny, underscoring broader issues within the NSW Police Force that extend beyond the recent tragedy.

 

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Echo: Editorial – Prosecuting publishers

For those new to the world of whistleblowing, it’s proven to instigate positive change and instigate positive change.

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, may be facing his final court hearing in the UK High Court of Justice soon. The hearing concerns if he will be extradited to the US to face spying charges. 

In 2010, Julian Assange published classified US military information provided by Chelsea Manning, a US Army whistleblower, to WikiLeaks. This information included details of war crimes, torture, assassinations, and the identities of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

Despite the publication of this sensitive information, there is no evidence indicating that it directly led to any deaths or compromise of security of the United States. However, it did cause significant embarrassment for the US government and stirred widespread concern globally.

Assange spent seven years within the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK, followed by nearly five years of confinement in Belmarsh maximum security prison, all without formal charges.

Critics have pointed out that the federal Labor government's management of Assange's case lacked significant efforts towards negotiation for his release. Speculation has arised, suggesting that the political ramifications on the relationship with the US could be the primary reason for this. Additionally, recent geopolitical events, such as the controversial AUKUS pact, have provided potential leverage points for negotiation, yet no progress has been seen.

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Guardian: Calls for independent review of police weapons after alleged murders of Sydney couple

Sen Const Beau Lamarre allegedly used a force-issued firearm to murder Jesse Baird, 26, and Baird’s partner, Luke Davies, 29, in Paddington on the 19th February. On February 16th Lamarre retrieved the firearm from Miranda police station for a protest policing assignment, according to police statements. 

This will be the subject of an internal NSW police review with oversight from the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (Lecc) and the Victoria police.

Civil liberties advocates are calling for the review of firearm regulation within the NSW police to be independent to ensure transparency, accountability, and impartiality in the investigation process.

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StarObserver: Activists angered by Mardi Gras board’s backflip decision

The recent charges laid on Senior Constable Beau Lamarre for the murders of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies had previously prompted the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board to request the NSW Police to not march in the parade. 

Last Wednesday this decision was altered, allowing police to march out of uniform in Mardi Gras

This change has angered activists who feel it is a betrayal to the community and who claim the decision was made because of pressure from the police. 

Pride in Protest have said they are “horrified and outraged” at the board’s new decision, "Whether in uniform or not, police participation in the Mardi Gras parade is unacceptable". 

The Greens similarly called for the police force to exclude itself “as a sign of respect, deference, and commitment to change.”

Liz Atkins, Greens Councillor has said the decision to backflip was  “really disappointing” and has outlined “NSW Police are still marching as an institution, even if they’re not in uniform, LGBTQI cops are part of the community like the rest of us. But take part with their community, not as part of the institution of NSW Police.”

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Honi Soit: Queer and civil rights groups hold a conference after NSW Police’s disinvitation from Mardi Gras

The recent disinvitation of the NSW Police from the Mardi Gras parade following the murder of  Luke Davies and Jesse Baird by a police constable has sparked significant discussion concerning accountability and justice within the NSW Police, as well as safety within the LGBTIQA+ community. 

On the 27th of February, NSW Council for Civil Liberties gathered at Taylor Square with Pride in Protest, Blak Caucus, Latoya Aroha Rule, and the NSW Greens to discuss this topic. This event happened in the wake of reports that the bodies of Luke Davies and Jesse Baird were discovered near a property in Bungonia.

Charlie Murphy from Pride in Protest opened the conference, welcoming the Board's decision, stating that disinvitation is the “bare minimum in terms of addressing police oppression.”. 

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CityHub: Calls for independent review of police weapons after murder of Sydney couple

The recent tragic deaths of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies have sparked demands for an immediate, impartial examination of the connection between law enforcement practices and the use of weapons.

The alleged murdered Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, who has been accused of the crime and was affiliated with the youth command, reportedly used a police firearm to shoot victims. 

Additionally, further concerns have been raised around firearm regulation within the NSW police as Lamarre-Condon allegedly checked out a gun for a period of 3 days whilst on recurrent leave and sick-leave.

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Sydney Criminal Lawyers: NSW Police Out of Mardi Gras Has Been a Long-Time Coming, as March Requests Cops Not Attend

Recently the NSW Police Force were disinvited of the from this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

This comes after NSW police senior constable Beau Lamarre-Condon allegedly shot 26 year old Jesse Baird and 29 year old Luke Davies on the 19th of February. The incident involving Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, underscores longstanding concerns regarding police violence. Additionally, Lamarre-Condon's history, including a prior incident of excessive force, raises serious questions about the culture within the NSW Police Force.

This incident, coupled with ongoing concerns about institutional prejudice, prompted the Mardi Gras Board to act.

The recent tragedy also sheds light on the broader issue of intimate partner violence, affecting both the queer community and society at large. The tragic deaths serve as a reminder of the crisis of violence, particularly within marginalized communities.

Ultimately, the Mardi Gras Board's decision reflects the community's demand for accountability and justice in the face of tragedy. It marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for inclusivity and safety within the LGBTIQA+ community.

 

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