Your civil liberties

Civil liberty is defined as freedom from arbitrary interference in one’s pursuits by individuals or by government (most often used in the plural - civil liberties). Civil liberties are protected explicitly in the constitutions of many democratic countries, but not in Australia. 

Civil liberties may include the freedom of conscience, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to security and liberty, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the right to a fair trial, and the right to life. Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, and the right to bodily integrity. 

NSW Council for Civil Liberties attempts to influence public debate and government policy on a range of civil liberties and human rights issues. We try to secure amendments to laws or changes in policy where civil liberties are not fully respected. We monitor and fight against infringement of these rights and liberties and the abuse of power by government, its agencies and others. We advocate strengthening democratic rights and liberties. 

Concerned about your civil liberties?

NSW Council for Civil Liberties is a volunteer run civil liberties organisation with limited resources. NSWCCL is not in a position to give legal advice on individual cases. We can suggest where further inquiries may be made, and we list several options below.

Our focus as an organisation is as an advocacy body. We undertake advocacy in the media and engage with government about civil liberties issues, but we do not undertake advocacy for individual complaints. To this end, we keep a record of civil liberties issues we receive from our members and the general public so we can monitor current and emerging civil liberties concerns in NSW. If you would like to advise us of an issue to add to our log, please email - [email protected]

If you need a lawyer you can contact the Law Society referral service.

For legal issues you could also try the following organisations:

Legal Aid NSW

LawAccess: 1300 888 529

Find local community legal centre - Community Legal Centres NSW (02) 9212 7333.

Aboriginal Legal Service NSW ACT

Public Interest Advocacy Centre 

Prisoner’s Legal Service

Intellectual Disability Rights Service 

Salvos Legal run a face to face advice bureau every Tuesday at Lakemba Senior Citizen’s Centre.

Justice Connect is a legal organisation that connects people with legal assistance. They may be able to help you, or recommend an organisation that can provide legal information, or represent you in a case. (02) 8599 2100

Research the Law in NSW - Find Legal Answers.

Read The Law HandbookThe Law handbook is the single most important plain English guide to the law in NSW. It provides a practical guide to 40 legal topics/legal issues that affect people in everyday life.

* If you are in immediate danger, dial 000 (within Australia).