NSWCCL has strong concerns about the recent amalgamation of the attorney generals and justice portfolio into a single cluster with the police and emergency services portfolio. Initially this arrangement specified the police minster as the senior coordinating minister above the attorney general and minister for justice. The cluster and the department were both named 'Police and Justice'. This appeared to subordinate the attorney general and senior law officer to the police minister and will erode confidence in the rule of law in nsw.
The unexpected resignation of the police minister led to the ministerial relationship being reversed so that the current attorney and minister for justice, Brad Hazzard, is now the senior minister.
This is a welcome improvement of an embarrassing arrangement for the state's first law officer but does not address the core problem with these new arrangements.
The amalgamation of the attorney general, justice and police ministers, functions and agencies into a single cluster and a single department is totally inappropriate - regardless of nomenclature and relative status of ministers. In a democracy robust debate between these portfolios on matters of policy is to be expected. The new administrative arrangements are likely to have a constraining impact on such debate coming to public awareness.
The Premier needs to restore separate administrative arrangements to these important ministries immediately.Read more
The Attorney General George Brandis has flagged his intention of repealing/amending s18c of the Racial Discrimination Act to better protect free speech.Read more
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has written to the Commissioner of Police and Minister for Police asking for an explanation for issuing a ‘trivial’, ‘weak’ and ‘vexatious’ charge against CSG demonstrators, and for assurance that no political purpose or pressure was involved. CCL has also asked the Ombudsman to investigate.Read more
NSWCCL urges Premier and NSW Parliament to defer or amend Bill extending police 'arrest without warrant' powers
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties today wrote to the NSW Premier, Minister for Police and Attorney General urging the deferral and amendment of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment (Arrest Without Warrant) Bill 2013. A copy of the letter was also sent to all NSW MPs.Read more
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has written to all NSW State MPs, urging them to heed to widespread concerns of civil society and reject the Crimes Amendment (Zoe's Law) Bill (No. 2) 2013.Read more
NSWCCL and Liberty Victoria have written an Open Letter to the Attorney General regarding adverse ASIO Security Assessments.
There are currently over 50 people in immigration detention in Australia who have been found to be refugees but have received adverse security assessments from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
Refugees who are adversely assessed by ASIO are not allowed to know the evidence or the reasoning which underpin the assessment. They have no right to know of or respond to any evidence or allegations taken into account against them
It is fundamental to our democratic system that a person should not face indefinite detention without being allowed to know why, and without the ability to challenge the factual basis and discretionary considerations which are said to support it.