David Bernie, a beloved member of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties was the driving force behind the Council’s push for an Australian Human Rights Act for decades. David’s support for the Act was underpinned by a deep, personal belief that the State should provide an explicit statutory basis for respecting, protecting and promoting fundamental human rights.
David was an experienced Barrister the Council frequently turned to for help. He was kind, extremely generous with his time and was ready to stand up and help others navigate difficult, often unfair, legal situations through his considerable pro bono work for the Council. Notably, David donated weeks of work over the years to help people with protest cases, visa reviews and overturning unfair and ridiculous censorship law. David developed the protocols and standard operating procedures to ensure the best possible privacy protections for the first CCTV cameras installed in the City of Sydney. These protocols were then adopted statewide (until – much to David’s annoyance, a change of government overturned many of the civil liberties protections!). David served as the Vice President of the Council for many years and provided tremendous support to the committee and his fellow members of CCL. Most of all David provided long and enduring friendship. David will be sadly missed.