The meaning of YES…and NO

Australians have voted YES by a bigger margin than the 2PP vote at any recent federal election. This is a cause for great celebration, of course, but what happens next?

The cry from Manus must not be ignored

The studied indifference of Australia’s leaders to the abandonment of refugees on Manus Island is becoming a permanent stain on this country’s name, the human rights body Liberty Victoria said today.

As troops prepare to occupy the refugees’ former prison the world will be watching Australia to see if we lift a finger to help, said Liberty President Jessie Taylor.

Months ago the New York Times wrote after touring Nauru and Manus: ”The world’s refugee crisis knows no more sinister exercise in cruelty than Australia’s island prisons.”

Review of police stop, search and seizure powers, the control order regime and the preventative detention order regime

This was a combined submission of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Liberty Victoria, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, South Australian Council for Civil Liberties and the Australian Council for Civil Liberties.

Review of the 'declared area' provisions

This was a combined submission of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Liberty Victoria, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, South Australian Council for Civil Libertiesand the Australian Council for Civil Liberties.

Calls on surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies to respect strong encryption

Liberty Victoria is one of 83 organisations and experts from 5 nations demanding “Five Eyes” respect strong encryption.

On Friday 30 June 2017, 83 organisations and individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States sent letters to their respective governments insisting that government officials defend strong encryption. The letter comes on the heels of a meeting of the “Five Eyes” ministerial meeting in Ottawa, Canada last week.

Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 [Provisions]

The Bill amends the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) to empower the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to ban mobile phones and other items in immigration detention centres. It also expands immigration officers’ warrantless search and seizure powers, and authorises them to use dogs to search detainees and visitors.

Rights Group applauds court’s recognition of peaceful protests

All governments in Australia should heed the High Court’s decision upholding the right of peaceful protest, Liberty Victoria said today.

“The decision in favour of Bob Brown must give heart to those who legally dissent,” said Liberty president Jessie Taylor.

Harsh penalties have been introduced in NSW to stop protests against coal seam gas and mining, while similar laws in WA were only stopped by an election.

“Governments of any stripe are often tempted to ramp up laws to dampen legitimate protest,” Ms Taylor said.

Locking up 10-year-olds without trial barbaric, says human rights group

The revelation that under new laws 10-year-olds could be held without charge for a fortnight shows politicians are badly failing to defend freedom while claiming to uphold it.

In making this comment today, the president of the human rights group Liberty Victoria, Jessie Taylor, joined the Law Council of Australia and others in condemning this decision by federal, state and territory leaders.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan says police have no powers to act against an 11-year-old would-be terrorist. 

Increasing arrest times a danger: rights group

Australians should be shaken by the Federal Government’s use of the term executive detention, Liberty Victoria said today. 
The human rights group said the plan to hold suspects for a fortnight without charge plays into the hands of terror groups while being aimed at stopping them. 
“Such a curtailment of people’s hard-fought freedom is a big step down the wrong road,” said Liberty president Jessie Taylor. 

PM calls for national database of driver’s licence photos

The Federal Government and States have entered into an Inter-Government Agreement to set up a national database to hold driver's licence photographs and identity information. The database may be used to conduct surveillance using facial recognition technology at public places such as airports or sporting events. This is a significant erosion of our right to privacy.