NSW Council for Civil Liberties

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
NSW Council for Civil Liberties
NSW Council for Civil Liberties Logo 2014.jpg
Formation 1963
Type Non-profit
Purpose Civil liberties advocacy
Headquarters Sydney
Region served
New South Wales
Website http://www.nswccl.org.au/

Founded in 1963, the charter of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties is to protect the equal rights of all citizens (as long as they don’t infringe the rights and freedoms of others) and oppose all or any abuse or excessive power by the State against its people.

The Council for Civil Liberties has a committee elected by volunteers whose primary role is to influence public debate and government policy on a range of human rights issues. The goal of the Council is to secure amendments to laws, or changes in policy, where civil liberties are not being fully respected.

Another role of the Council is to listen to individual complaints and, through volunteer efforts, help members of the public with civil liberties problems. The Council prepares submissions to government, conducts court cases defending infringements of civil liberties, engages regularly in public debates, produces publications, and conducts many other activities.

Current issues range from the bill of rights, the death penalty, prisoners issues, free speech, sniffer dogs, double jeopardy, freedom of information, the right to protest, ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) rights, asylum seekers, drug reform and privacy.


Stephen Blanks, President from October 2013

Cameron Murphy, President from October 1998 - October 2013 Kevin O'Rourke John Marsden



Mandatory Sentencing[edit]

Sniffer Dogs[edit]


Death Penalty[edit]

Free Speech[edit]


Government Surveillance[edit]

Terrorism Laws[edit]

LGBT Rights[edit]


President of NSW Council for Civil Liberties Stephen Blanks raised questions about the use of drones for police investigations of crime scenes. In June 2015 Blanks said,"There are obvious benefits for crime investigation as long as guidelines are in place which clearly say how the information is going to be used and how inappropriate access is going to be prevented."[1]

Support and opposition[edit]

Early Years[edit]

Founding in 1963[edit]

1960s & 1970s[edit]

1980s & 1990s[edit]

Modern Era[edit]

1998 and Cameron Murphy[edit]

September 11, 2001[edit]


Paul Lynch MP, Shadow Attorney General acknowledges the contribution of the NSWCCL in Parliament in November 2013 on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.[2]

Terrorism and Civil Liberties[edit]

In a recent speech to the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, High Court Justice Michael Kirby delivered an important reminder to all civil libertarians:

"Let there be no doubt that real terrorists are the enemies of civil liberties...

"Nevertheless...we must also recognise...the need to draw a distinction between 'terrorists' and those who are simply objecting to injustice as they see it. In his day, Mahatma Gandhi was certainly called a terrorist. So was Nelson Mandela...

"[We must also recognise] that, in responding to violent antagonists, democratic communities must do so in a way, as far as possible, consistent with the defence of civil liberties."


  1. ^ Olding, Rachel (16 June 2015). "Drones may be future of law enforcement but will they compromise civilian privacy?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Hansard of the Parliament of New South Wales". 

External links[edit]