NSWCCL in the media

Open Letter: Community, Legal and Civil Society calls for policing reform

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Media Statement: Let's talk about police reform and weapons

On 26 February NSWCCL wrote to the Attorney General, Minister for Police and Police Commissioner to register our concern about systemic policing issues which are brought into focus again by the alleged murder of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies.  

Our letter is attached and calls for three things: the disarming of general duties Police Officers; an independent inquiry into police use of force and weapons; and, an end to the practice of police investigating police for misconduct and excessive use of force.

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CityHub: Three overdose on tablets sold as MDMA but were actually potent opioid

Recently three people in Sydney were hospitalised after taking pills that they believed to be MDMA but actually contained a powerful opioid, nitazene. Individuals taking as little as half a tablet were hospitalised. 

In response to these hospitalizations, NSW Health issued an urgent warning about the tablets, describing them as orange or red, rectangular in shape, featuring a red bull logo and text.

This incident has reignited calls for drug testing.

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CityHub: Remembering TJ Hickey amidst government failures in closing the gap

The twentieth anniversary of the passing of TJ Hickey, a young Indigenous individual, serves as yet another stark reminder of the numerous First Nations individuals who have lost their lives due to encounters with law enforcement or correctional systems. 

This anniversary coincides with the release of an update on the Closing the Gap report by the Federal Government, marking the sixteenth anniversary of the National Apology to Indigenous People. This report has shown that progress on some target have gone backwards. 

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Media Release: Remembering TJ Hickey amidst government failures to close the gap

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the death of First Nations teenager, TJ Hickey. The NSW Council for Civil Liberties joins his family, friends, and the First Nations community in solemn remembrance.

On February 14, 2004, TJ tragically died after being impaled on a fence during interactions with NSW Police. His death remains deeply etched in the hearts and minds of his family, friends, and the First Nations community.

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Pearls and Irritations: Police debunk Pro-Israel NSW premier’s false “Gas the Jews” claim

In 2023, a video surfaced, widely reported by outlets like Fox News, TMZ, and the Monthly, purportedly showing pro-Palestine protesters at the Opera House chanting "Gas the Jews," according to the video's captions. However, following an extensive investigation by the NSW Police into its authenticity, they have concluded that there is no evidence supporting these claims.

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Crikey: Calls for further ‘Gas the Jews’ investigation as group behind footage mocks police finding

Three months ago, protestors gathered at the Sydney Opera House steps, illuminated to commemorate Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7. Following the protest, reports surfaced of anti-Semitic slogans. Fahad Ali, one of the organizers, confirmed these reports and stated that the small group responsible was asked to leave. However, it was the alleged chant of "Gas the Jews" that garnered significant attention with videos circulated and aired by the Australian Jewish Association and Sky News allegedly captured the chants, with both videos carrying corresponding captions.

Recently, the accuracy of the footage has come under scrutiny. While other chants were undoubtedly anti-Semitic, the specific Holocaust reference carried potential legal implications, possibly constituting incitement to violence.

Various Jewish and Palestinian organizations are urging for a deeper investigation following an announcement by NSW Police stating they lack evidence supporting claims that pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted "Gas the Jews" during a protest at the Sydney Opera House. The publishers of the contested footage have declined to acknowledge any inaccuracies.

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Media Statement: Serious allegation of hate speech found to have no basis

NSW police have conducted a review of a serious allegation of hate speech at the Opera House protest in October and found that the allegations were incorrect. Expert examination of the video evidence proves that protestors were chanting “where’s the Jews” and did not chant “gas the Jews” as was widely reported by many media outlets on the basis of a wrongly captioned video shared on social media.

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Yahoo!News: Hung juries are not a failure, inquiry told

In NSW and Queensland, the requirement for juries to deliberate for eight hours before the possibility of a majority 11-1 verdict is longer than in all other states and territories. This extended deliberation period means that juries with a single hold-out can be repeatedly urged to "try harder" for a unanimous verdict, with judges closely monitoring the clock.

A proposed overhaul of legislation in NSW aims to halve the minimum deliberation time in an effort to reduce the number of hung juries and associated trial expenditures. Critics, however, argue that there is insufficient evidence to support the belief that these objectives would be achieved or that such changes are necessary.

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Biometric Update: Australian Digital ID Bill draws feedback from finance, business, civil rights groups

The Digital ID Bill, initially presented to Parliament in November following over three years of development, is now concluding its period for receiving submissions in a parliamentary inquiry. 

In their submissions many civil rights groups have expressed concerns around misuse of biometric data and privacy. In contrast to these submissions buiness and financial groups argue that the proposed system could play a pivotal role in enhancing identity security and verification.

In 2023 the Digital ID Bill was redrafted after pressure from advocates, who urged the Albanese government to implement stricter restrictions on law enforcement access to biometric information. New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) says that “there should be no law enforcement access… with or without a warrant” in a submission to the parliamentary inquiry on the Digital ID Bill.

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