Policy: 1973 Brief

JURIES

CM. 17.10.73.

'The compilation (and administration) of jury lists should be taken out of the hands of the police; and Public Service employees should be allowed to sit on a jury.'

LEGAL AID

Statement adopted by Committee (31st January 1973).

A litigant should be entitled to a free copy of depositions of evidence and the judgment of his case.

POLICE RAIDS

Council for Civil Liberties evidence to Senate Select Committee on Civil Rights of Migrant Australians (5th September 1973).

There may well be good cause for the police to suspect that some individuals or organisations have engaged in terrorist or other illegal activity, and of course, the police are bound to act upon any reliable information in their possession concerning that. This does not excuse the manner in which the police carried out dawn raids on 68 or so homes of members of the Croatian community in New South Wales on 1st April 1973.

ABORTION

AGM, October 1973.

'That the administrators of public hospitals should seek to avoid a situation where women requesting a termination of pregnancy are interviewed by doctors who are opposed to termination of pregnancy on moral or religious grounds or who believe that termination should only be permitted in cases of extreme emergency. We are of the view that women should be entitled to have their request considered free of any moral prejudice in the doctor. Equally, any member of the staff of a hospital, either nurse or doctor, who is opposed to assisting in a termination of pregnancy should be free of any form of compulsion to assist in a termination against that person's preference or will.'

DEFAMATION

CM. 19.9.73.

No action for defamation should be at the suit of any person who takes part in public affairs, public activities or public debate for a statement (even if it be substantially untrue) relating to that person's participation in such affairs, activities or debate, unless the plaintiff proves that the statement was made with reckless disregard of whether it was true or false. Further, that absolute privilege should be extended to cover:

  1. enquiries conducted under the authority of any Parliament in Australia;
  2. statements made by members of local government councils at council meetings; and that the offences of criminal libel and blasphemous libel should be abolished.