Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into Freedom of Speech in Australia - December 2016
As one of the most racially and ethnically diverse nations in the world an effective statutory protection against race hatred is an essential safeguard for national harmony. NSWCCL believes the main issue with s18C centres on the lack of clarity of its terms. NSWCCL recommends only those amendments necessary to bring the section in line with its interpretation in case law and/or Australia’s international human rights obligations
Submission to Parliamentary Joint Committee on Electoral Matters Inquiry into the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 - February 2016
NSWCCL supports immediate reform of the distorted and undemocratic Senate electoral processes. We have urged this since the 2013 elections so dramatically illustrated the undemocratic processes and outcomes of this broken system.
NSWCCL supports the draft guidelines. They provide for satisfactory arrangements concerning the rights of providers of gametes or embryos, of the birth mothers and their partners, and of children who may be born as a result of the use of technology. We applaud the support for the autonomy of all involved, and their rights to ‘detailed, accurate, contemporary and relevant information’ concerning the procedures and concerning the legal and other consequences of their decisions.
Submission to PJCIS review of the Australian Citizenship Amendment Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 - July 2015
If enacted, the Bill would amend the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) (“the Act”) in an untested and radical way. It presents a significant threat to the separation of powers and the rule of law. Indeed, the Bill is founded on a significant reconceptualisation of the relationship between the State and the citizen.
There is no demonstrated need to introduce a mandatory aggravating factor where the offender was under the influence of drugs or alcohol; The concept of vulnerability should not be expanded as proposed with a new definition; CCL highlights that mandatory sentences for offences committed under the influence of alcohol already in place in the Northern Territory appear to have been unsuccessful in reducing their incidence.
Submission to INSLM review of impact on journalists of section 35p of the ASIO Act 1979 - April 2015
The CCLs reaffirm their strong opposition to the concept of the SIO regime and argue for its repeal. The repeal of the s35P offences flows logically from this position. But even if the SIO is maintained (hopefully more tightly defined and with stronger safeguards), the 5 CCLs would argue for the repeal of s35P offences as unnecessary, draconian and dangerous for our democratic well-being.
The submission identifies a number of key issues in the Bill, including procedural fairness, the broad scope of the proposed legislation, and the potential negative implications for virtual private networks (VPNs), cloud storage providers, and whistleblowers. CCL has provided a number of recommendations addressing these concerns should the Bill continue to proceed through Parliament against CCL’s recommendation.
Submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee's inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill 2015 - April 2015
NSWCCL is concerned that the Bill does not contain essential safeguards to limit the collection and retention of additional biometric data, and that the Bill in its current form may disproportionately affect minors, incapable persons and asylum seekers because it removes the requirement for consent and presence of a parent, guardian or independent person for and during the collection of such biometric data.
Submission to PJCIS into the telecommunications (intercept and access) amendment (data retention) Bill 2014 - January 2015
It (mandatory data retention) would be a major negative step for a democracy. It will be a major intrusion every citizen’s right to privacy - including those not suspected of any unlawful activity. This will have major flow-on implications for other freedoms and democratic values. The combined CCLS consider it to be a step too far. We strongly oppose the policy concept and urge the Parliament to reject it.
Submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Australian Senate concerning the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - November 2014
NSWCCL condemns the proposed amendments to the Legislation, as it is clear the changes intend to punish those who seek asylum from persecution, and who arrive in Australia by boat. In doing so, this Bill perpetuates the myth that asylum seekers who arrive by boat are ‘illegal’ and have no legal right to seek asylum.