Submission: Inquiry into the Administration of the Referendum into an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee (Committee) in regard to the administration of the referendum into an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice (Referendum).
NSWCCL's submission focuses on key issues relating to the disenfranchisement of First Nations people, misinformation and disinformation, and the ongoing integrity and assurance process of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).Read more
Submission: The Provisions of the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) 2023 Bill.
We support the Voice as an enactment of the Uluru Statement of the Heart, and the proposed amendment to the Constitution of Australia. We submit that the proposed wording is appropriate and should be put to the Australian people in its current form.
Whilst this Inquiry is based on the wording of the proposed amendment, we observe that many submissions provided are more concerned with the concept of the Voice, laced with unfounded fears and scaremongering, akin to those upon the introduction of the Native Title Act 1993. In our submission, we call on the Committee to consider such submissions in that light.Read more
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in regard to The Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2023 (the Bill).
Freedom of expression does not give licence to individuals to engage in expression which engenders hate and incites violence. To that end, we support the principles underpinning the bill. However, the council believes it is the promotion of Nazi ideology which should be criminalised. To the extent that this Bill falls short of that objective, it is inadequate. It seeks to criminalise only one aspect of the promotion of Nazi ideology – the display of Nazi symbols. That does not go to the heart of the problem. Careful consideration of how to prevent the promotion of Nazi ideology is required – the criminal law is only one of the required tools; other tools are required – education, engagement, diversion – and the criminalised conduct should be the core of the offensive conduct, not a superficial aspect.
In a recent submission to a review of anti-discrimination laws, the Presbyterian Church of Australia argued for the right to exclude students from leadership positions, such as school captain, if they were having pre-marital sex or in a same-sex relationship arguing that "They would not be able to give appropriate Christian leadership in a Christian school which requires modelling Christian living", AAP reports.
The NSW Council of Civil Liberties said the proposal seemed punitive and would have a chilling effect on student morale.Read more
The UN has adopted a historic resolution that will make it easier to hold polluting countries legally accountable for their failure to act on the climate crisis. The resolution calls for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue an official opinion that will clarify that obligations that nations have to tackle the climate crisis, and the consequences they should face for inaction.Read more
As previously submitted, privacy is a fundamental human right that is central to the maintenance of democratic societies and achieving respect for human dignity. To this end, urgent reform is required to modernise the Act and ensure it is fit for purpose in the digital age, and the NSWCCL reiterates its previous submissions outlined in its response dated 9 January 2022 to the Attorney General’s Privacy Act Review Discussion Paper.Read more
A meeting of the nation's various data and digital ministers resulted in the release of a communique on the 24th of February, asserting the urgency of implementing a national digital identification system which would make it easier for 'citizens to deal with the government', Paul Gregoire reports.
The 2014 Financial System Inquiry report found that many Australians are likely to object to a digital ID system due to privacy concerns, as it could be perceived as a digital version of the unpopular Australia Card initiative, which was rejected in 1987.Read more
NME: NSW Police say “aggressive” and “offensive” music is prohibited at Royal Easter Show, not rap in general
Organisers of the Sydney Royal Easter Show have clarified their stance on rap music being banned at this year’s event, claiming their intentions had been misconstrued upon the ban’s announcement.
Brock Gilmour – chief executive of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, said that rap music could in fact be played at the Easter Show, so long as it abides by the condition that it’s “quite pleasant and [does not contain] offensive language”. He also stressed that NSW Police had no part in establishing the ban, with the RAS having made that decision independently; the board’s president, Michael Millner, reportedly expressed support for it.Read more
Police and Easter Show organisers have attempted to walk back an apparent ban on rap music at this year’s carnival, characterising it as a crackdown on offensive language and aggression rather than an entire musical genre, SMH report.
Drill, a darker and grittier subgenre of rap, has long been targetted by NSW Police, along with its Sydney practitioners. On Wednesday, however, Royal Agricultural Society of NSW chief executive Brock Gilmour said organisers, not police, took the decision to prohibit music that contained offensive language or “aggressive tones”. He said he did not want mums, dads and children hearing swear words at a family event.
NSW Council of Civil Liberties president Josh Pallas said it was an example of the over policing of marginalised communities. “In a way it’s thought-policing because rap music is just another instance of free expression,” he said.Read more
Reforms in mandatory death penalty legislation could see reprieves for 1300 prisoners on death row.
The Malaysian Parliament has approved a bill that would eradicate mandatory death penalty sentences for serious crimes. Currently, the death penalty is mandated for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, treason, kidnapping, and acts of terror. The Courts, under this new Bill, would have the discretion of handing down sentences between 30-40 years, which would also replace natural life imprisonment.Read more