Voltaire Award Dinner 2015

Peter Greste receives on behalf of his colleagues Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy Liberty Victoria's Voltaire Award 2015

On the 12th of September, at our annual fundraising dinner at the San Remo Ballroom, the Liberty Victoria 2015 Voltaire Award was made to the "three brothers", Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste,

Intelligence Services Amendment Enhanced parliamentary Oversight of Intelligence Agencies) Bill 2018

Liberty Victoria is essentially supportive of the reforms contained in the Bill. We note that there has been a significant expansion in the powers and activities of Australia’s national security and intelligence organisations over the past two decades, without a corresponding increase in review or scrutiny of such bodies.

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Comment on Recent Amendments to Parole Law in Victoria

Liberty Victoria is strongly opposed to the amendments to the Corrections Act 1986 (Vic) (the Act) made by the Corrections Amendment (Parole) Act 2018 (Vic) (the amendments).

The effective imposition of imprisonment for life without parole constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and breaches fundamental human rights norms. People can rehabilitate. These amendments deny a class of offenders the basic human dignity of mercy, individual justice, and rehabilitation.

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Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Cross-examination of Parties) Bill 2018

In summary, the Bill introduces an important change to the way in which family law proceedings are conducted, so that there is no undue stress and trauma caused to victims of family violence. However, the Bill does not adequately ensure that legal representation will be guaranteed and in its current form does not ensure that the right to a fair trial is not unduly restricted. Liberty Victoria submits that the Bill should not be passed without legislative protections which ensure that parties will be legally represented in circumstances where personal cross-examination is prohibited.

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Justice Legislation Amendment (Unlawful Association and Criminal Appeals) Bill

Liberty Victoria strongly opposes the abolition of de novo appeals. These significant reforms have been introduced without evidence-based support. The last investigation in 2006 by the Law Reform Committee of the Parliament of Victoria recommended that de novo appeals should be retained. Since then, there has been no further research by Parliament or the Victorian Law Reform Commission into the de novo appeals system.

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Shorten urged to end offshore detention

Over 150 free speech advocates are calling on  Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to stop the offshore detention of asylum seekers. A letter has gone from those attending the nation’s top free speech awards, run by the rights body, Liberty Victoria.

The advocates want the ALP to change their policy to support the full resettlement in Australia of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.

Scrap frightening new laws says human rights group

A leading human rights group today joined a chorus of condemnation of new State Government laws that sharply cut the amount of time people may spend together.

Under the laws children as young as 14 may be given orders not to associate with others (Liberty Victoria notes that Police Minister Lisa Neville this morning discussed the potential application of the laws to a child as young as 11).

Liberty Victoria opposes these laws, as do the Federation of Community Legal Centres, Human Rights Law Centre, Victorian Council of Social Service and Fitzroy Legal Service.

Submission in support of Uluru Statement from the Heart

Liberty Victoria fully supports constitutional recognition of Australia's First Peoples, in the form set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart: a constitutionally enshrined, First Nations Voice to the Parliament, and a Makarrata Commission, which will supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling. This model has been developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - the very peoples who are to be recognised in our founding document.

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Public Comment on Serious Offenders Bill 2018

This Bill proposes to expand the detention and supervision order regime under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 (Vic) to non-sexual violence offences. Under the scheme, offenders can be detained or subject to onerous supervision orders at the conclusion of their sentence. Liberty Victoria opposes the expansion of the scheme. Terms of imprisonment are  imposed by an independent judicial officer having regard to all sentencing considerations, including the risk of reoffending and the need for community protection.

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Mandatory Sentencing is unnecessarily cruel, says human rights group

New mandatory sentencing laws will not make our communities safer, the human rights group Liberty Victoria warned today. The comments were made in response to Wednesday’s announcement that the Andrews government will expand the number of offences for which judges and magistrates will be banned from using Community Correction Orders (CCOs). 

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