NSWCCL has made a submission to the Inquiry into Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 and related bills.Read more
NSWCCL made a submission to the Review of the Privacy Act 1988 advocating for urgent reform to modernise the Act and ensure it is fit for purpose in the digital economy. Privacy is a fundamental human right that is central to the maintenance of democratic societies and achieving respect for human dignity. In this regard, the NSWCCL submits that the right to privacy should be the paramount object of the Act and considers the two primary areas of concern in debates relating to privacy are:
- (a) the intrusive observation of one’s actions (whether by surveillance, listening, data analysis or other mode); and
- (b) the discussion and the misuse of personal information.
NSWCCL supports in-principle many of the proposals outlined in the Discussion Paper and commends the Attorney General’s Department for reflecting the legitimate privacy concerns of a broad spectrum of society. Many Australians are concerned about gaps and ambiguities in the existing privacy regime that undermine the right to privacy. This is especially important in the context of unprecedented integration of digital technology in our everyday lives.
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.
On 18 November NSWCCL made a submission to the Inquiry into the Provisions of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021.
We encourage NSW residents to let the Inquiry know how you feel via its online questionnaire (closing date Monday 22 November).
NSWCCL strongly supports the Bill, which has very strong public support and is long overdue. Death may be inevitable, but it need not be cruel.Read more
On 1 November 2021, NSWCCL made a submission to the Inquiry into the Public Interest Disclosures Bill 2021. The Bill re-writes protection for public officials who blow the whistle on wrongdoing, following a 2017 Joint Parliamentary Committee review that recommended a complete rewrite of the existing legislation.
NSWCCL endorses the Bill, which we note adopts nearly all the recommendations from the 2017 report, while noting some shortcomings.Read more
Submission: Continuing detention scheme for terrorist offenders 'not compatible with human rights law'
NSWCCL and the Sydney Institute of Criminology have made a joint submission expressing concern about the Commonwealth’s continuing detention scheme for terrorist offenders and its lack of compatibility with human rights law and fundamental principles of criminal law.
We argue that serious consideration should be given as to whether the scheme is necessary. If the scheme is to continue, we argue that the scheme should be amended in substantial ways to enhance (to the extent possible) its compatibility with human rights law.Read more
On 20 August, NSWCCL made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee in regard to the Inquiry into the Constitution Alteration (Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press) 2019 (Constitutional Alteration).
The NSWCCL endorses wholeheartedly the proposed Constitutional Alteration which aims to enshrine the right of freedom of expression, including freedom of the press and other media, in the Constitution. This will be achieved by inserting a new Chapter IIIA and section 80A in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900.
On 16 July 2021, the NSW Council for Civil Liberties made a submission to the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) in regard to the public consultation on the Digital Identity Legislation Position Paper.
NSWCCL welcomes the codification of the DIS which will embed privacy safeguards in primary legislation not in a subordinate instrument. The DIS claims to include a number of privacy features. The effect and success of which will be known once the draft legislation is introduced. 1 Such features include voluntary participation, no single identifier, express consent and Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) for accreditation. Despite these provisions, there are clear weaknesses. The rules, for example, will allow for the PIA to be conducted by an assessor from within the same entity as the applicant; hardly independent.
The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the NSW Legislative Council Regulation Committee Inquiry into Environmental Planning Instruments (SEPPs).
NSWCCL makes this submission for a number of key reasons:
a. To ensure that adequate safeguards are in place for the creation of SEPPs in recognition that parliament is the supreme law making body in the state;
b. In recognition that the climate change poses a significant and increasing threat to the ability for citizens’ and others residents’ civil liberties and human rights, and that any decisions made which concern the environment should be appreciative of the adverse effects of climate change; and,
c. In recognition that First Nations communities voices should be recognised and afforded significant weight in the development of environmental and planning policy.Read more
The Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) thanks the Department for Communities and Justice for its invitation to make a submission concerning the Review of Section 293 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986.
'It is submitted that rather than providing a specific exception in relation to false complainants (as proposed by option 2) it is more desirable to consider what the principles and objectives that are sought to be achieved by this reform, rather than reactive reform in relation to a single factual scenario. Each case will bring its own unique factual issues and circumstances. Specific exceptions will often fall short of adequately dealing with the breadth of circumstances and issues of particular cases. Rather, an appropriately drafted discretion has the capacity to deal with a broader range of cases, provide protections in relation to the factors which must be taken into account and prevent piecemeal reform as other issues and factual scenarios arise in the future.'