Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections

This submission will focus upon the impact of vilification on people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual,
trans and gender diverse, queer, and people born with variation in sex characteristics (LGBTIQ).
There is a wealth of information – in the form of both studies and anecdotal evidence – to
demonstrate that LGBTIQ people experience a significant and unacceptable level of vilification and
abuse in their daily lives. The examples shared with us by members of the LGBTIQ community and

Submission on the Religious Discrimination Bill Exposure Draft

  1. In earlier remarks on the planned, now Exposure Draft, Bill (“the EDB”) the Attorney-General appeared to contemplate an ordinary anti-discrimination law along the lines of existing federal (and State/Territory) legislation. In a consultation meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday 4 September he appeared to confirm this intention, and downplayed the significance of the EDB’s departure from that “stock standard” model.

Review of the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Cessation) Bill 2019

For the following reasons, Liberty Victoria recommends the Bill not be passed, and the current automatic citizenship loss provisions be repealed. a. Citizenship loss provisions, both discretionary and automatic, are not an effective response to the threat of terrorism and also risk undermining efforts to combat radicalisation.  b. The citizenship loss current and proposed provisions and the operation of the Citizenship Loss Board represent a threat to the rule of law and basic civil liberties.  c. The legal threshold for Ministerial decision risks manifestly disproportionate consequences.

Submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

Liberty Victoria is profoundly concerned that some aged care providers may conflate the notion of medical incapacity with legal capacity and this denies many vulnerable residents their right to participate in, and determine, his or her own legal affairs. In some circumstances this denial can also have significant consequences for the individual’s wellbeing.

(Robodebt Inquiry) The impact of changes to service delivery models on the administration and running of Government programs

The robodebt scheme is arguably a ‘retrogressive measure’ in breach of Australia’s international human rights obligations as they pertain to the right to social security. The Government’s attempts to ‘modernise’ the delivery of social security to Australians, while seemingly legitimate on its face, have resulted in debts being raised which are not ‘duly justified’ (potentially not even at law) and have had significant consequences to many Australians — which in some cases may have been grave.

Inquiry Into Committals

Liberty Victoria recognizes the significant value of committal proceedings and the role they play in ensuring adequate disclosure, promoting the early resolution of cases before the courts, minimizing impact on vulnerable witnesses and ultimately easing pressures on the criminal justice system. Such proceedings enable an accused person to be apprised of the case against them and assess the strength of the evidence, but also give the prosecutor an opportunity to properly evaluate the case that has been assembled.

Inquiry into Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2019

The Bill seeks to amend the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) by introducing a twelfth set of circumstances in which a person will necessarily fail the character test enunciated at s.501(6) of the Act: where they have committed a ‘designated offence’.

Liberty Victoria recommends the Bill not be passed. 

Inquiry into the Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2019

These amendments seek to impose a lifetime ban on obtaining a visa (for people who arrived by boat after July 2013) to travel to or remain in Australia, subject to a personal non-compellable non-delegable exemption power of the Minister.

We recommend the Bill not be passed. 

Our principal concerns with the Bill can be summarised as follows:

a. No compelling case has been put forward by the Government to justify the proposed amendments, and they are entirely unnecessary and disproportionate;

b. The proposed amendments would entrench the separation of families;

Birth Certificate Law Reform Briefing

Liberty Victoria, in conjunction with Ashlea Johnson - a transgender Melbourne woman - fully support amendments to the law to allow transgender, gender diverse and intersex Victorians to record their preferred gender on their birth certificates. 
We provided this briefing paper to provide background to the issue, and a summary of the basis on which we support the reforms.  Liberty Victoria is delighted that the reforms have passed.

Contempt of Court Consultation Paper

We have had the opportunity to consider the detailed submission of the Criminal Bar Association of Victoria, and we respectfully endorse it and its recommendations. In particular, we endorse the submission that there should be fault elements that must be proved to establish breaches of prohibitions and restrictions on publication under the law of contempt, the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act and the Open Courts Act (see paragraph 55, 68 and 106 of the Criminal Bar Association’s Submissions).