The councils for civil liberties

Answering the question, “where are the councils of civil liberties on freedom of speech, or have they disbanded?” They used to be run by Labor lawyers and so were selective in the issues that they pursued.

Going strong in NSW. Free speech is an issue for them but I can’t see anything about the Bolt case or the moves on media regulation. No probs for Labor lawyers I suppose.

The Queensland CCL.

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties is a voluntary organisation concerned with the protection of individual rights and civil liberties. Our aims are to:

Be vigilant in matters affecting civil liberties and to safeguard and develop respect for human rights and freedoms,
Educate and provide information about threats to, and the abuse of, rights and liberties and to foster the study of legal and human rights,
Seek solutions to problems related to civil liberties, including prison reform, censorship and rights of minority groups,
Provide, when necessary, neutral observers at marches and demonstrations.

Still active in 2012.

They support same sex marriage. Biggest concern appears to be the extension of ASIO powers. “the greatest assault on civil liberties since WW2″.

Moving on to the Victorian CCL. Someone read right through the letter they wrote to Conroy on media regulation and tell me how much they have got a foot on each side of the barbed wire. They don’t like Finkelstein but “At the same time, we are all too aware of the dangers of industry self-regulation.”

Civil Liberties Australia has got a very pretty website, including a page of cartoons, some of which I suspect may not be all that funny for conservatives. See what you can make of their freedom of speech page.

Can’t be bothered with the other states, just google them. In case you were afraid to ask, this is the Irish Council.

Don’t blame me, I just work here.

Update: Michael Cope – former president of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties – responds in the comments:

I am the former president of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties and wish to correct this entirely misleading post.

The QCCL has a longstanding policy of supporting freedom of speech and in particular of opposing anti racial vilification laws. Perhaps if you had searched the website more carefully you would have found this http://www.qccl.org.au/documents/Sub_MC_5April95_Racial_Hatred_Bill_1994.pdf.

More recently we have supported the rights of white supremacists to have their event on the gold coast http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/04/13/307791_gold-coast-news.html

As to Mr Bolt. We would agree that the Bolt decision raises issues of concern though it would appear from the judgment that the Judge thought the applicants would have been able to sue him for defamation. But we are an organisation of volunteers. As a result we have to pick where we place our resources. Mr Bolt is an example of someone who can well and truly look after himself.

Then there is this continuing bizarre suggestion that the QCCL is Terry O’Gorman’s plaything. I have never worked for Terry O’Gorman. In fact while i am a lawyer i don’t practice criminal law

And pickles you are more than welcome to join

Michael Cope

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19 Responses to The councils for civil liberties

  1. duncan

    NSW CCL is stuck in a HoWARdHoWARdHoWARd time warp. I guess they haven’t had time to upgrade to the latest AbbottAbbottAbbott version.

  2. Pickles

    The Qld chapter seems to consist of Terry O’Gorperson and a few other O’Gorpeople. Try and join it.

  3. Samuel J

    Interesting that Amnesty International (worldwide) states that freedom of expression is one of the most important human rights (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/freedom-of-expression) but the Australian website of Amnesty (http://www.amnesty.org.au/) doesn’t seem to have much info about freedom of expression, nor does it condemn the Government’s proposals.

  4. mareeS

    No accident that the ACCL is mostly Irish/Scotish, and predictably cranky.

    Being from an Irish/Scot backgound myself, married to a man who wore a kilt in his childhood days, I’ve struggled to understand why the O’Gormans and such of the nation struggle so against the government of and by our peers.

    Crankiness seems to run in our genes.

  5. stackja

    ‘Alleged’ criminals have civil liberties while others such as injured police and most MPs do not.

  6. papachango

    So all the ‘civil liberties’ groups have bee hijacked by far left ideologues.

    …news at eleven

  7. blogstrop

    Councils for Civil Liberties are not so concerned with actual Liberty, but more with putting definitions on behaviours acceptable to them, just as environmentalists wish to control use of all the land on earth, regardless of ownership or human needs.

  8. manalive

    If the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties is any example of the others, they were set up during periods of conservative rule to counter laws proscribing ‘unseemly’ references to, or behaviour that was deemed, indecent obscene etc. and to defend anti-Vietnam/anti-Springbok demos etc. — in other words to champion dissent.
    Now that the ’68 generation are in control, they have gyrated 180°.
    I don’t wish to derail the thread, but a very similar thing has happened to the Australian Skeptics, an organisation that once exposed and challenged credulity and boasted as members leading lights like Phillip Adams AM, AO etc. etc., but now is happy to re-publish Lewandowsky’s nonsense.

  9. Poor Old Rafe

    Good points manalive, not derailing the thread. Important to note how groups change orientation according to shifts in political power, fashion, leadership, etc.

    Phillip Adams is not a good example of the point you are making, although along with Dick Smith he was the original co-patron of the Aust Skeptics.
    Actually there are state groups, one of which (the NSW group of which I was once the Treasurer) is called The Australian Skeptics. They/we have no official policy on climate change and I suspect the majority of members are realists as opposed to warmies but the warmies persist in making their case.

    Because the editor of the magazine supports free speech he has to publish some things that many of us find objectionable.

  10. entropy

    Whenever a verb is added in front of a noun in a permanent way, in which it becomes sort of a two word noun, it nearly always means its use is designed to make the noun mean whatever the user wants it to mean, sometimes even the opposite.

    This is usually done with the use of ‘social’ – eg social justice, but it works just as well with the word ‘civil’.

  11. William Bragg

    Free speech is an issue for them but I can’t see anything about the Bolt case or the moves on media regulation. No probs for Labor lawyers I suppose.

    That’s probably because the Bolt case was not about greater restrictions on free speech, notwithstanding the ongoing pretence by Catallaxians that it was. Bolt got his underlying facts wrong. When will you guys stop lying and get yours right?

  12. samuelj1912

    Bragg: free speech means being able to say anything even if it false. After all, we grant you that right.

  13. .

    Bolt got his underlying facts wrong. When will you guys stop lying and get yours right?

    No, you are lying.

    Bolt mixed up paternal and maternal grandparents. Other than that, he was bang on, save for he hurt someone’s feelings. They didn’t like being called white (which they are) and a welfare queen (which they are).

  14. Poor Old Rafe

    Merry Christmas William!

  15. Tel

    Good points manalive, not derailing the thread. Important to note how groups change orientation according to shifts in political power, fashion, leadership, etc.

    And toss Amnesty International into that list, once very focussed on freedom, now turning into yet another generic “progressive” political organization… the last thing we need. Maybe I’m being a bit unfair but I’m disappointed about where these things are going.

  16. Token

    One of the differences between the Left and the Right is that we are too busy to have time to colonise organisations like the Councils for Civil Liberties.

  17. Derp

    WachootawkinaboutWillis?
    That CLA website is hideous

  18. Rafe

    Yes Tel, Amnesty is a perfect example. Greenpeace as well, so one of the founders eventually disowned the orgnaization.

    Also the ABC.

    Classical communist “front” tactics, infiltrate an organization or invent one with a worthy prima facie purpose – peace, aboriginal rights, the environment and then use it to promote your real agenda.

  19. michael cope

    I am the former president of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties and wish to correct this entirely misleading post.

    The QCCL has a longstanding policy of supporting freedom of speech and in particular of opposing anti racial vilification laws. Perhaps if you had searched the website more carefully you would have found this http://www.qccl.org.au/documents/Sub_MC_5April95_Racial_Hatred_Bill_1994.pdf.

    More recently we have supported the rights of white supremacists to have their event on the gold coast http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/04/13/307791_gold-coast-news.html

    As to Mr Bolt. We would agree that the Bolt decision raises issues of concern though it would appear from the judgment that the Judge thought the applicants would have been able to sue him for defamation. But we are an organisation of volunteers. As a result we have to pick where we place our resources. Mr Bolt is an example of someone who can well and truly look after himself.

    Then there is this continuing bizarre suggestion that the QCCL is Terry O’Gorman’s plaything. I have never worked for Terry O’Gorman. In fact while i am a lawyer i don’t practice criminal law

    And pickles you are more than welcome to join

    Michael Cope

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