Sydney Criminal Lawyers: Civil Society Demands NSW Government Revoke Authoritarian Antiprotest Regime

The first of April marked the two-year anniversary of the NSW government’s draconian antiprotest regime, which has effectively stamped out unsanctioned civil disobedience actions that cause public disruptions in order to raise public awareness to drastic issues not being addressed by government.

Two years on from this a coalition of civil society groups led by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties has formed, calling on NSW premier Chris Minns for a transparent review of these laws. The coalition includes Australian Democracy Network, Redfern Legal Centre, National Justice Project, Wage Peace, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, the Australian Palestine Network, the Maritime Union of Australia, APAN and the Socialist Alliance, along.

An open letter to Chris Minns, attorney general Michael Daley and roads minister John Graham recently published stated “Two years on from the introduction of the draconian 2022 antiprotest laws, these laws are creating a chilling effect on civil movements and social progress,”.

“The barriers for a diverse range of groups to participate in protest action have been raised to an unattainable height, due to risk of police interaction and escalated police violence, especially for groups such as First Nations people and individuals on temporary visas.”


The coalition of civil society groups have emphasised that as per the legislated requirement, the AG’s office and Transport for NSW has to review the laws. Collectively they are calling for transparency, wanting Minns to ensure it doesn’t take place behind closed doors and seeks submissions.

The coalition was also clear about its ultimate aim, which is “the repeal of these antidemocratic laws”.

NSWCCL wrote on X that the Minns government has confirmed “a public review into draconian antiprotest laws” will take place, allowing for the “opportunity for open and transparent public scrutiny”.

Read more in the full article.