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World Youth Day!

July 3rd 2008 00:45
Sydney-siders face 'unreasonable interference' during World Youth Day

Pope Benedict addresses a youth rally crowd

Pope Benedict will arrive in Sydney amid tight security. (Reuters, file photo: Erin Siegal)

Draconian, repugnant and unnecessary. These are just a few of the criticisms of special regulations coming into force for the upcoming Catholic World Youth Day event in Sydney.

Civil libertarians and legal experts say the regulations could see situations such as someone deemed to be wearing an offensive T-shirt being arrested and given a hefty fine.

New South Wales Police say the measures are designed simply to ensure that World Youth Day is a peaceful and happy event.

The event runs from July 15 to July 20, but from today until the end of the month the regulations come into force.

Under the regime SES and Rural Fire Service volunteers will assist police in bag checks at World Youth Day locations.

And anyone deemed to be causing annoyance could be arrested and fined up to $5,500.

New South Wales deputy police commissioner Dave Owens says the regulations do not restrict democratic rights.

"If people wish to lawfully protest, we will facilitate those protests as long as they are law abiding," he said.

"Police officers always maintain a discretion, and I expect them to use that discretion."

There have been suggestions that people could be arrested if they wear a T-shirt that promotes the use of condoms. Mr Owens refused to rule that out.

"There are individual circumstances that will have to be dealt with individually," he said.


President of the New South Wales Bar Association Anna Katzmann says she does not understand why the regulations have been brought in.

"They are repugnant for two reasons," she said.

"First of all the Government has by-passed the normal parliamentary scrutiny that would be available if they were introduced by an Act of Parliament," she said.

"Secondly they are an unreasonable interference with people's freedom of speech and movement."

She says there is a chance people could be arrested for trivial offences in the areas that have been declared as special World Youth Day zones.

"These World Youth Day-declared areas are numerous and they encompass places like Sydney University and the Opera House. Places that you and I would travel to regularly, not just churches or church schools," she said.

New South Wales Council of Civil Liberties president Cameron Murphy says he is opposed to the proposed measures.

"A police officer may find someone's T-shirt annoying and on that basis issue them with a fine," he said.

"That sort of thing is likely to escalate any problems that occur rather than prevent them."

The Greens have joined civil libertarians and the Bar Association in calling for the regulations to be cancelled.

Based on an AM report by Barbara Miller.

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4 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Morgan Bell

July 6th 2008 03:50
haha promoting wearing condoms . . . geez ACON is gunna be in alot of trouble!

Comment by melbourne brothel

January 5th 2012 06:12
This is really great post.Many people like it.So get enjoy.

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