NSWCCL Submissions

Submission: Inquiry into the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) Repeal Bill 2014 [Provisions] - NSWCCL

The INSLM is an important independent position set up in 2010 with broad review functions relating to the intensely sensitive and complex area of counter-terrorism laws: whether these laws remain proportionate to the threat of terrorism in Australia and whether they contain appropriate safeguards to protect the rights of individuals. It is most inappropriate that such a significant statutory role was proposed for repeal in this covert way without forewarning, substantive rationale or public consultation.

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Submission: Exposure draft Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Freedom of Speech Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014

NSWCCL totally opposes the amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Freedom of Speech Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014 issued as an exposure draft by the Commonwealth Attorney-General on the 25th March 2014.

The amendments will dramatically narrow the definition of unlawful racist speech and the contexts in which racial vilification will be allowed are so broad as to include almost every context in which public racist abuse could occur. The Act will effectively be gutted removing vital protections against racial vilification that have worked well for 20 years.  

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Submission: Comprehensive revision of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979

CCL made an extended submission to the Senate’s review of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act (the TIA Act). We emphasized the importance of privacy as a fundamental right, central to the maintenance of democratic societies and essential for the formation of dissent and the exercise of freedom. Surveillance is a tool of tyranny.

 

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Submission: NSW Ombudsman's review of the use of the consorting provisions by the NSW Police Force - Division 7 Part 3A of the Crimes Act 1900

NSWCCL has made a submission to the  NSW Ombudsman's review of the use of the consorting provisions by the NSW Police Force - Division 7 Part 3A of the Crimes Act 1900 - November 2013.

The current NSW consorting laws impinge on human rights to a degree that far exceeds any benefit that may be obtained from them. The NSW Ombudsman is currently reviewing the police use of these laws, these laws should be repealed and/or radically amended.

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Submission: Inquiry on the Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013

NSWCCL has made as submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013.

We make the same comments on proposed section 474.40(2) as we did on the corresponding section in the previous version of the Bill. As argued previously, intending to commit a crime is not itself a crime, and should not be made a crime. If crimes have occurred, they are what a person should be charged with. If they haven't, a person should not be charged for what he or she merely has in mind as a plan.

NSWCCL recommends that this Bill should be rejected.

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Submission: Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Above the Line Voting) Bill 2013

NSWCCL has called for major reform of the Senate electoral system to ensure Senators are only elected if they have enough voter support and not due to inter-party preference deals. 

We made a submission to a parliamentary inquiry calling for the introduction of optional preferential voting in Senate elections and abolishing inter-party preference deals. This would mean that voters could vote for as many or few Senate parties and candidates as they wished and their preferences would be counted exactly as the voter indicated on the ballot instead of following an inter-party preference deal.

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Submission: Review into Police Oversight of Critical Incidents

NSWCCL has made a submission to the review into police oversight of critical incidents, being conducted by the Hon Robert McLelland.

The NSWCCL believes that the establishment of an independent body to oversee investigations into critical incidents involving police is paramount. The European Court of Human Rights has enunciated five key principles of effective investigation: independence, adequacy, promptness, sufficient public scrutiny and next-of-kin involvement. The NSWCCL believes that this Review should recommend the adoption of these principles in the final model.

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Submission: Review of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007

NSWCCL has made a submission to the NSW Department of Attorney-General and Justice on the Statutory Review of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007.

"Given the high incidence of surveillance resulting in no ‘relevant information,’ the Council for Civil Liberties is of the view that the Attorney-General should recommend to Parliament that s.52 be amended. The Council recommends that the Act be amended so that issuing authorities can prospectively require a law enforcement agency to report to targets about the use of past surveillance where: (a) no information relevant to a prosecution is found; and (b) it is the second attempt against the same target that has resulted in no information useful to a prosecution being gathered (whether the warrant was issued in respect of the same or a different offence)."

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Submission: Telecommunications Amendment (Get a Warrant) Bill 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on the inquiry into the Telecommunications Amendment (Get a Warrant) Bill 2013.

"It has never been more important that lawful surveillance and intrusions upon privacy, which a democratic nation determines to be necessary and proportionate for its security, are subject to strong independent oversight, accountability and maximum transparency.

The amendments proposed in this Bill, if enacted, will provide a significant strengthening of these protections."

  • The NSWCCL strongly supports the purpose of the Bill as set out in the explanatory memorandum
  • NSWCCL supports the proposed amendments to the TIA Act in the Bill
  • NSWCCL supports a more comprehensive review and amendment of the TIA Act

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Submission: Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee concerning the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013.

"Both world-wide historically and in Australia in recent times there has been much discrimination and worse against LGBTI people.1 Unlike, say religious or political views, people cannot change such characteristics (and if they could, they should not be expected to). Though some protection is provided by State and Territory legislation, the provisions vary between these jurisdictions, and their coverage is restricted. The bill will contribute to an improvement in LGBTI persons' situation. We urge its speedy passage--as an important measure until a revised Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill is introduced."

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