Submission to the Criminal Law Review at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the Inquiry into the right to silence of an accused person - September 2012
The proposed bill will abolish the right of an accused person to decline to answer questions by police without any adverse inferences being drawn in a subsequent trial by the prosecution or the court. To propose that silence implies guilt or prevarications is irrational and contrary to the fundamental principle of the presumption of innocence.
Submission to the Joint Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) regarding the Inquiry into potential reforms of the National Security Legislation - August 2012
NSWCCL accepts the argument that there is a need to update and rework the relevant legislation in light of technological advances and successive amendments. However, neither of these drivers, in themselves, provides justification for an extension of powers or reduction in accountability for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, nor for the further erosion of individual privacy, civil liberties and democratic values.
Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety regarding the Inquiry into Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 - August 2012
The submission raises a number of concerns, particularly the sharing of Australian information with foreign law enforcement agencies who may support torture/death penalty or may otherwise not employ appropriate protection and security measures concerning the highly sensitive and private nature of prospective data.
Submission to the Acting Director General at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the statuatory review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW) - August 2012
The submission questions the impact of harsh penalties such as imprisonment for a relatively minor offence, particularly on predominantly young perpetrators. It also addresses the Act's allowal of the removal 'graffiti' from private property provided that it is visible from a public place - this is an intrusion upon the owners right to property, owners should be free to paint their property or have it painted as desired without third party interference based on a subjective evaluation of the artwork/decoration.
Submission to the inquiry by the Social Policy Committee into the provision of alcohol to minors - August 2012
The submission argues that the proposed amendments extend unnecessarily beyond merely ensuring adequate supervision of liquor supply, and may unreasonably criminalise benign activities such as religious rituals involving supply of liquor to minors.
The legislation as presently embodied in Part 8 Crimes (Repeal and Review) Act 2001 (the Act) is contrary to the common law as it has developed over generations of cases here, in England and other common law countries. It is also in contravention of Article 14(7) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. NSWCCL proposes that the legislation be repealed.
Submission to the inquiry on the Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 [Provisions] - April 2012
CCL participated in the various consultations relating to body scanning over several years. We welcomed the significant moves that were taken to address some of the most intrusive aspects of the earlier proposals. Unfortunately, the proposed amendments do not deliver on all the protections for health and privacy which we understood would be Government policy.
Submission to the Legal Committee of the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into law reform issues regarding synthetic drugs - April 2012
The submission discusses the proven inefficacy of drug prohibition. It also highlights the inability for persons without a chemistry background to reasonably interpret the legality of over 200 banned substances as outlined in Schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), making it extremely complicated for most people to understand what they are allowed to buy, possess or sell.
NSWCCL considers the introduction of secular Ethics Classes as an alternative to Special Religious Education (SRE) classes in 2010 to have been an important reform, going some way towards providing parents and children in public schools with long denied, secular options to faith based SRE classes. We are therefore, strongly opposed to the Education Amendment (Ethics Classes Repeal) Bill 2011. It aims to reverse this reform and reinstate the discriminatory denial of any alternative educational activity for children choosing not to attend faith based SRE classes: a truly anomalous denial of rights in public schools which are otherwise required by legislation to provide ‘strictly non-sectarian and secular instruction.
Submission to Migration Amendment (Removal of Mandatory Minimum Penalties) Bill 2012 - February 2012
NSWCCL supports the passage of the Migration Amendment (Removal of Mandatory Minimum Penalties) Bill 2012. In removing mandatory minimum sentencing provisions in relation to certain people smuggling offences, the Bill redresses a situation which has been incompatible with long held principles of justice which are the foundation of our system of jurisprudence.