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,

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). 

Review of the Identity-matching Services Bill 2018 and the Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-matching Services) Bill 2018

Joint Councils of Civil Liberties submission on the Identity-matching Services Bill 2018 and the Australian Passports Amendment (Identity-matching Services) Bill 2018 which will authorise the Department of Home Affairs to collect, use and disclose identification information in order to operate the systems that will support a set of new biometric face-matching services. 

Magda Szubanski, Yassmin Abdel-Magied take out free speech awards

One of Australia’s most popular actors and a prominent activist are among those awarded this year’s major free speech awards, announced today.

A further award went to a journalist asylum seeker who has been imprisoned without trial offshore by the Australian Government for over four years.

Actor Magda Szubanski has topped off an astonishing year by being honoured for her work for marriage equality. She is the recipient of the nation’s top free speech honour, the Voltaire Award.

Service Victoria Bill 2017

The portal that has been created does meet many privacy standards. The entry point stores minimal information – once the identity (ID) has been established only a token certifying that level of ID is kept on the website. The department or instrumentality being accessed is told that the ID is correct and doesn't require re proof for later access, nor do they store ID information. Only those departments or instrumentalities that the consumer wishes to access are linked to their account.

Children Legislation Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2017

In principle Liberty supports the Children Legislation Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2017. However, Liberty Victoria’s view is that the proposed regime goes too far and needs to be amended to ensure that the range of information that can be stored is clearly defined, that children have the opportunity to give consent wherever possible, and that there are clear rules about the types of people that are able to access the information.

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