Our President Pauline Wright commented that 'the new reasoning used by Mr Hawke [to cancel Djokovic's visa] “smacked of arbitrariness” and highlighted the undue extent of the minister’s discretionary powers.' in The Age.
Full article: ‘Dangerous in a democracy’: Civil rights groups’ alarm at government’s Djokovic case The Age 16 Jan 2022
"To see the sweeping powers that our minister does have is a wake up call for a lot of people within Australia ... It does set a dangerous precedent that people could be deported for what they believe."
Our President Pauline Write speaking to Sky News about the deportation of Novak Djokovic.
NSWCCL joins with other human rights groups and environmental groups in condemning the increasingly harsh and disproportionate laws and actions taken against climate and environmental protestors in recent years, and supports victims of such laws and actions. This phenomenon is not discrete to New South Wales, with a prosecution of a climate defender dismissed in Western Australia this week, and a significant public campaign against proposed changes to clamp down on protest in the United Kingdom.Read more
NSWCCL has made a submission to the Inquiry into Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 and related bills.Read more
NSWCCL has made a submission to the Review of the Legislation Act 2003.
It is extremely concerning that the Government has chosen - in the wake of the powerful arguments made in the Committee report on the overreach of exemptions to disallowance - to double down on the notion that the Executive should have untrammelled powers to rule by decree without parliamentary oversight.
In particular, and as a key example, the Government rejected the Committee's interim recommendations 5/6/7/8 and 9 that determinations made under the Biosecurity Act 2015 that affect such fundamental liberties as the right to leave the country, should be subject to disallowance.
The Government's justification that it must exempt such powers from disallowance because of the need for "urgent and decisive action" is utterly unacceptable and flies in the face of our constitutional order. It is precisely when the stakes are high and the effects of Executive action on in individuals is so far reaching that our parliamentary representatives must exercise their oversight function.
NSWCCL strongly objects to the LNP's outrageous attempt to rush the religious discrimination bills through the lower house today.
The bills have been referred to an Inquiry, which will report before the next sitting of parliament.Read more
Joint Media Release: NSW Government must recognise Aboriginal cultural fishing in line with parliamentary support
A coalition of concerned leaders and organisations has called on the NSW Government to take urgent action to prevent any more Aboriginal fishers being incarcerated or fined for exercising their Native Title rights.
Following revelations that Aboriginal people make up 4 per cent of people living on the South Coast, but account for 80 per cent of jail terms for fisheries offences since 2009, the NSW Legislative Council passed a resolution last week.
Raised by Labor MLC Michael Veitch, the motion supported Aboriginal cultural fishing and called for a review of all fines and prosecutions.Read more
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, NSWCCL committee member and ex President Nicholas Cowdery QC argues that 'Nothing “done to” Berejiklian was a disgrace – she is a witness in the investigation and has been treated appropriately.' and 'The ICAC’s powers have not been abused'.
Read the full article: Morrison's rant against ICAC needs a good fact-check
Freedom of Information laws are crucial to ensuring the transparency and accountability of policy and government decision making by giving Australians access to the information they need to participate fully in democratic processes.
However, systemic deficiencies in the federal FOI regime, including the existence of broad exceptions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) and persistent underfunding of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), have eroded the effectiveness of the FOI regime, shielding politicians from public scrutiny and undermining public confidence in the integrity of government and public institutions.Read more
Update - a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into the Bills has now been announced.
The third version
Last week the Government introduced the third version of its contentious Religious Discrimination Bill into Parliament. NSWCCL has always supported religious freedom and supports the protection of persons from discrimination on the basis of religious beliefs, but for the third time we are unable to support the Government’s Bill.
Despite some improvements (e.g. the removal of the Israel Folau provision) we remain strenuously opposed to core elements of the proposed legislation - which are in some cases worse than in the previous bills.