Our president Pauline Wright told SBS: "When you've got the ability to make a statement of belief that is going to be exempt from anti-discrimination laws, you've got something that is fundamentally flawed."
However, the Senate Inquiry recommended that 'the draft religious discrimination bill should be passed by the Senate after amendments to some of the more contentious sections of the bill'. The article notes dissent from Liberal, Labor and Green MPs, adding that 'Critics of the bill said they do not think problematic sections like section 12 on the statement of belief can be improved' calling for a 'complete overhaul of legislation'.
MS Wright noted that the whole process has revealed the importance of having a national Human Rights Act - or Bill of Rights - to deal with the issue of competing rights.
"In our view the bill should be withdrawn and taken back to the drawing board. And consult with the people who are going to be affected by it," she said.
"Consult with the LGBTI community as well as religious groups, and ensure all the competing rights are properly taken into account - because at the moment, they're not.
Our President Pauline Wright commented that 'the new reasoning used by Mr Hawke [to cancel Djokovic's visa] “smacked of arbitrariness” and highlighted the undue extent of the minister’s discretionary powers.' in The Age.
Full article: ‘Dangerous in a democracy’: Civil rights groups’ alarm at government’s Djokovic case The Age 16 Jan 2022
"To see the sweeping powers that our minister does have is a wake up call for a lot of people within Australia ... It does set a dangerous precedent that people could be deported for what they believe."
Our President Pauline Wright speaking to Sky News about the deportation of Novak Djokovic.
Stewart Perrie comments in Lad Bible that the deportation of Djokovic "has raised a few eyebrows in the realm of civil liberties". He quotes our President:
Pauline Wright, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said the government was drawing a long bow to think he was a poster boy for the anti-vaxx movement.
"Do the comments in 2020 disentitle him from playing a tennis game in Australia in 2022?" she said.
The Canberra Times quotes NSWCCL's secretary Michelle Falstein and ANU Associate Professor Ron Levy, discussing the potential for a legal challenge if NSW forces residents to report their positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test results.Read more
The ABC reports that AI including facial recognition will soon be used in South Korea in a trial to track COVID positive residents. This effort will involve linking an AI facial recognition program to the CCTV surveillance system. According to the South Korean government this is an effort to ease the workload on contact tracing, but this move is worrying from a civil libertarian perspective. Our secretary Michelle Falstein, and Professor Toby Walsh - an AI expert from UNSW - spoke to ABC reporter Rhett Burnie on the issueRead more
Perth Now has reported on the National Press Club of Australia's event at which our President Pauline Wright spoke, commenting that "integrity campaigners have renewed calls for a federal anti-corruption commission, as the government stalls on introducing legislation for the body's creation".Read more
The Age examines the Andrews government’s controversial pandemic laws, with legal experts saying they would include the most rigorous safeguards against human rights abuses in the nation.
NSWCCL's Vice President Josh Pallas said that he did not believe any other jurisdiction applied the same level of scrutiny as Victoria.
Mr Pallas said the NSW Ombudsman did not have jurisdiction when it came to issuing public health orders. Nor did the NSW Parliament use a joint committee chaired by a non-government MP to oversee public health orders.
Read the full article: Pandemic laws contain most rigorous safeguards in nation, say experts
The Mandarin: ‘A gaping hole in Australia’s integrity’: case for getting federal anti-corruption agency right
The Mandarin covered our President Pauline Wright's National Press Club of Australia address, commenting that restoring faith in politicians and government agencies will require a Federal ICAC with powers akin to a royal commission.
It quoted from Ms Wright's speech:
"It undermines confidence in all levels of government and its agencies — they’re fundamental to the delivery of citizens’ expectations and aspirations, for Australia to be a fair, prosperous and ethical society,”
It also examined Pauline's view that the bar for an investigation to begin is too high, undermining the likelihood of evidence unveiling during the investigation process.Read more
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, NSWCCL committee member and ex President Nicholas Cowdery QC argues that 'Nothing “done to” Berejiklian was a disgrace – she is a witness in the investigation and has been treated appropriately.' and 'The ICAC’s powers have not been abused'.
Read the full article: Morrison's rant against ICAC needs a good fact-check