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.
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.
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