Promoting people's rights and civil liberties. It is non-party political and independent of other organisations.
NSW to deprive kids of speech, movement, association freedoms

NSW to deprive kids of speech, movement, association freedoms

NSW is implementing a system to control young people that has failed abjectly in the UK. The Youth Control Orders – YoYos – deprive people aged 14 to 19 of free speech, freedom of association and freedom of movement. The ailing government of Australia’s penal state is taking away kids’ civil liberties, and handing young people’s rights, like yo-yos, to police to toy with.

Police yo-yo orders to control children like ‘walking the dog’

The NSW Government is about to duplicate a scheme to control youths aged from 14 until they turn 19 that has comprehensively failed in the UK.

Called ASBOs (anti-social behaviour orders) in the UK, they will morph into Youth Control Orders (YCOs, or Yo-Yos) in NSW, the Penal State.

The euphemistic claim is that the new orders will “place limits on the behaviour of a young person who has been engaging in anti-social behaviour and who has been charged with an anti-social offence.” Note: “Charged”…not convicted.

These Yo-Yos will in practice be peremptory restrictions imposed by police on kids. The ‘pilot’ schemes are to be in three areas “namely Campbelltown, Mount Druitt and New England Local Area (police) Commands”.

The yo-yos are an extension of the Anti-Social Behaviour Pilot Project established by the NSW Government in September 2006.

The Children’s (Criminal Proceedings) Amendment (Youth Conduct Orders) Bill 2008 was introduced 23 October into the Legislative Council by Attorney-General John Hatzistergos.

Yo-Yos will dramatically limit a young person’s freedom. For example, they will say who he or she is not allowed to communicate with (receive/send messages to/from) by phone, email, SMS or letters or faxes, as well as where they can live and travel, and who they can associate with.

“Remember, these are young NSW people, many old enough to vote, or to die for Australia as soldiers…yet the NSW Government wants to deny them their most basic rights of free speech, freedom of movement and freedom of assembly,” Bill Rowlings, CEO of Civil Liberties Australia, said last month. “This is a desperate act of a police state, not good government.”

The NSW Government’s extraordinary stupidity in following a failed UK scheme has even outraged the normally mild and polite Legislation Review Committee (LRC) of the State Parliament. Its report no 12 of 2008, issued on 28 October, lambasts the government:

The LRC says the provisions may “unduly trespass on the rights and liberties of children…the rights to freedom of movement and association…constitutes excessive punishment. Here’s part of what the LRC says:

  • The committee is concerned that the imposition of suitability assessments and Youth Conduct Orders on children who have not yet been proven guilty of an offence by a Court may trespass unduly on their rights and liberties.
  • Proposed section 48P(2) unduly trespasses on the rights and liberties of young people and constitutes excessive punishment.
  • (The Committee) is also particularly concerned about the application of this provision to young people who have been charged with but not found guilty of a relevant offence.
  • Proposed section 48Q(4) will result in the excessive punishment of a young person.
  • (The Committee) is also concerned that a young person who has failed to comply with a Youth Conduct Order may be subject to excessive punishment through the sentencing process.
  • The Committee is concerned proposed sections 48E and 48W provides for the making of regulations in a manner that is ill and widely defined. It considers that these matters should be dealt with by amending legislation rather than through the regulations. Further, proposed section 48C(2)(g), which provides that conduct restriction provisions may be such other kinds of provisions as may be prescribed by the regulations is ill and wide defined.
  • The Committee is concerned that Schedule 2, Division 8 proposed Clause 25 enables the issuing of directions by the Director-General to influence the exercise of executive powers without any obligation for them to be tabled in Parliament and not subject to disallowance.
Translate »