Tamsin Rose: A move to overhaul the law criminalising hate speech in New South Wales following clashes across Sydney amid community tensions over the Israel-Hamas war has sparked debate over the limits of freedom of speech.
The NSW premier, Chris Minns, this week ordered a review of the 2018 law that made it a crime to threaten or incite violence based on race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, because to date crimes under the laws had never been successfully prosecuted.Read more
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) is concerned regarding media reports today that the Premier is moving to tighten the NSW Crimes Act seemingly in response to lobbyists from faith-based organisations.Read more
NSW Council for Civil Liberties welcomes the introduction today of the Clean Up Politics Act to improve the transparency and honesty in dealings between lobbyists and Government representatives.
The Clean Up Politics Act has been driven by the hard work and determination of Independent Member for Kooyong, Dr Monique Ryan. The Council thanks and acknowledges Dr Ryan’s consistent advocacy in this space.Read more
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has lodged a submission to the NSW Ombudsman with respect to the review of the Mandatory Disease testing Act 2021.
The Mandatory Disease Testing Act came into force in July 2022 and provides for mandatory testing of a person whose bodily fluid comes into contact with a health, emergency or public sector worker.
The making of a “mandatory order” compels a person to provide a blood sample, under the threat of prosecution for a failure to comply. If convicted, it carries a maximum penalty of twelve months imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $10, 000.Read more
Australia, and the whole international community, must immediately call for a ceasefire and for an end to the targeting of civilians in Gaza.
Under international humanitarian law (the laws of war) parties to a conflict have a clear obligation to protect the lives of civilians. Israel’s attacks on Gaza as well as their complete blockade of Gaza are clearly in breach of international law.Read more
Today, the High Court of Australia (“HCA”) has ruled that the Government cannot strip Australians who have been convicted of terrorism offences of their citizenship pursuant to section 36D of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
The HCA decision is in response to an appeal that was lodged by convicted terrorist Abdul Nacer Benbrika, who was incarcerated in 2005.
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has long argued that section 36D of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 was invalid and that it did not empower Ministers to strip a person’s citizenship.
We have long held the position that depriving someone of their citizenship should not be a legislative response to any criminal offence – even the most shocking and inhumane offences such as terrorism as it is fundamentally undemocratic.Read more
Media Release: Urgent Review on the risks that artificial intelligence pose to our civil liberties & human rights
Today marks the first day of the Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit.
We have signed an open letter that will be delivered at the Summit on the urgent need for the risks that AI poses to our civil liberties and human rights to be considered when developing policies and regulations on the use and proliferation of AI.
You can view the open letter here.Read more
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (“CCL”) gave evidence today at NSW Parliament before the Modern Slavery Committee regarding its review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (“the NSW Modern Slavery Act”).
The review is concerned with whether the policy objectives of the NSW Modern Slavery Act remain valid.
The CCL strongly supports the policy objectives of the NSW Modern Slavery Act.Read more
2023 NSWCCL AGM
Item 7.1 The Right to Protest
Under Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the right to peaceful assembly shall be recognised. No restrictions may be imposed unless the protest is an imposition to national security, public safety, public order, the protection of public health, morals or the rights and freedoms of others. Australia has ratified this international agreement and therefore laws should not be passed that are inconsistent with this right.Read more
2023 NSWCCL AGM
Item 7.2 Drug Reform Policy
NSWCCL welcomes the NSW government proposal for a pre-court diversion scheme affecting people caught in possession of small amounts of illicit substances. Under the changes, NSW Police will be given the ability to issue up to two on the spot Criminal Infringement Notices, which are $400 fines, to adults for personal drug use and small quantity drug possession offences. This is an encouraging first step towards broader drug reform however NSW Police will still retain their discretion in all cases to charge a person and proceed to court. It is still an offence to possess and use illicit drugs. Entry of a conviction or even a bond without conviction goes on a police record with possible drastic long lasting consequences for future employment and visas to enter other countries.Read more