Josh Pallas: ‘Strike Force Guard’: suppression of climate protest threatens us all
Peaceful public assembly is not unlawful in NSW. Capsicum spray is intended to be used as a ‘last resort’ for police. Instead, it’s increasingly used as ‘crowd control’ at peaceful protest events, in a clear breach of police’ guidelines.Read more
Submission: Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018
The Australian Government has asked Professor John McMillan, AO, supported by the Attorney-General’s Department to undertake a statutory review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 operation and compliance over the first three years since commencement. The review commenced on 31 March 2022 and is to be completed within one year, followed by a report to be tabled in Parliament.Read more
NSWCCL applauds unanimous resolution from City of Sydney to protect the right to protest
At Monday's meeting City of Sydney councillors came together with unanimous support for a Motion protecting the right to peaceful non-violent protest in NSW.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties applauds this demonstration of support for the fundatmental rights of the community to come together, peacefully, to express their viewRead more
City Hub: Sydney activist and icon Danny Lim in hospital after police attempted arrest
This week, 78-year-old Danny Lim was in the QVB on George Street when police attempted to have him removed from the building. During the arrest Lim was thrown to the ground and sustained an injury to his cheek.
Josh Pallas, President NSWCCL said: Over the past year we have seen police come down hard on protestors before, during and after protests. Yesterday's police violence directed at Danny Lim takes this to a new level. He was not participating in a protest, but is a well known protestor going about his life and was still subjected to violent policing. This ugly encounter demonstrates the depths of the rotten culture in NSW Police related to protest and the expression of dissent. This rotten culture must be called out and brought to an end. While the investigation into the incident is welcome, it must occur at arms length from Police, preferably through the independent LECC.Read more
Dreyfus: Whistleblower and integrity reforms part of ‘crucial steps’ to rebuild trust in government
The federal attorney-general has announced all commonwealth entities will be subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 to tackle corrupt conduct in government.
Mark Dreyfus said this reform would complement the new National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), to match anti-corruption measures with existing safeguards against fraud in the APS, The Mandarin's Melissa Coade reports.Read more
Policy: LGBTQI+ rights
Adopted at the 2022 AGM
Since 1963, NSWCCL has been at the forefront of arguments to advance the human rights and civil liberties of all. While NSWCCL has strongly supported LGBTQI+ rights in its advocacy, it does not have an updated formal policy. The purpose of this policy is to set out the framework for our advocacy in that regard.
This policy adopts the acronym LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and others) for ease, but recognises that there are a myriad of other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions to which this policy also relates.
Our first recorded policy on the issue was passed on 6 May 1970, which stated ‘That the policy of the Council for Civil Liberties be that sex relations between adults in private shall not be a criminal offence.’ In October 1973, NSWCCL reasserted that policy and further added, amongst other things, ‘there should be no discrimination against homosexuals on the basis of their homosexuality and that State and Commonwealth governments should act to ensure full and substantive equality to homosexuals’. NSWCCL also made submissions in support of marriage equality in both 2009 and 2017.
On 26 October 1994, the AGM passed a resolution which stated ‘That [ NSWCCL] calls on the Department of School Education to develop and implement a component of the curriculum on the social and cultural constructions of gender within a framework of Gender Studies’.
NSWCCL has also consistently made submissions which opposed attempts to further protect religious rights at the expense of LGBTQI+ rights. This included submissions to federal inquiries in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and state inquiries in 2020 and 2021.
Healthcare and education continue to be pressure points for the LGBTQI+ community where discrimination is particularly felt. As Sydney hosts World Pride in 2023, it is past time NSWCCL reaffirm support for the LGBTQI+ community.
That NSWCCL supports the LGBTQI+ community in their demands for equal rights and substantive equality. NSWCCL strongly opposes the privileging of other rights, including religious rights, so as to erode or deny the rights of LGBTQI+ persons. NSWCCL reaffirms our commitment to advocate for a human rights act or charter at both a NSW and Commonwealth level which conclusively resolves conflicts of rights.
In particular NSWCCL:
- Supports a ban on LGBTQI+ conversion practices. These are practices which attempt to ‘suppress, cure or change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. For example ‘gay cure therapy’ or gay exorcism.
- Strongly opposes recent attempts by religious groups and some governments to unwarrantedly privilege religious rights at the expense of LGBTQI+ rights.
- Opposes any discrimination against LGBTQI+ people in healthcare and educational settings.
- Supports a ban on the performance of unnecessary medical procedures on people born with innate variations of sex characteristics without their consent.
- Supports calls for an LGBTQI+ Commissioner being appointed to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
- Recognises conflicts of human rights must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis using the framework of international human rights law as a best practice guide.
Green Left: Josh Pallas: 'fight for the right to protest as if our lives depended on it!'
NSW Council for Civil Liberties President, Josh Pallas recently made a presentation on anti-protest laws and the right to protest at Ecosocialism 2022 on a panel titled "Winning our right to protest and building the environment movement" in Sydney (October 9).
It's great! Watch the full video.
John Waters SC speaks out about the appalling culture and regulatory practices of NSW Fisheries
John Waters SC say that there is an urgent need to look at the behaviour and regulatory practices of NSW Fisheries, particularly in relation to the departments attitude towards Aboriginal Fishers. Mr Waters is extremely concerned about the level of damage inflicted by compliance actions on Aboriginal people whose lives and culture are expressed and defined by their cultural fishing practices. We think these actions are racist and unfair.
For more information, listen to ABC radio interview Mr Waters.
The Guardian: Labor faces resistance in push to expand police access to GPS data in missing person cases
NSWCCL spokesperson Stephen Blanks, spoke to The Guardian about the introduction of the telecommunications legislation amendment (information disclosure, national interest and other measures) bill to parliament today.
The changes will allow emergency services more opportunity to apply for a warrant to request location triangulation data from phone companies to find missing people at risk. The current legislation allows disclosure of such information, under section 287 of the act, if emergency services believe “on reasonable grounds that the disclosure or use is reasonably necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of a person”.Read more
No recommendations for change: Report released into discrete parts of the Bail Act (2013)
The findings of the NSW Law Reform Commission into the inquiry of discrete parts of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW) have supported the NSWCCL submission concluding that no changes should be made to the Bail Act 2013 (NSW) in relation to the issues raised by the terms of reference.
Bail laws exist to keep victims and the community safe until criminal proceedings are finalised, while safeguarding the presumption of innocence and general right to be at liberty until a matter is determined by the courts.
Given their significant potential to limit individual liberty, changes to the Bail Act must be justified by a clear and compelling policy rationale. Any such changes must be supported by appropriate evidence. NSWCCL's submission supports this.Read more