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Anti-Terrorism Laws

Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 2, 2005 - 2:07am.
Are we crossing the line from police powers to police state?

"I mentioned previously there was a very concerning aspect of the stop, question and search powers. It is the provision that decisions leading to the exercise of the powers is not reviewable and cannot be challenged on any grounds whatsoever in any legal proceedings. It sounds over dramatic to say that the proposed laws are of the kind that may identify a police state, but let us reflect for a moment on this proposition. The defining characteristic of a police state is that the police exercise power on behalf of the executive, and the conduct of the police cannot be effectively challenged through the justice system of the state. Regrettably this is exactly what the laws which are currently under debate will achieve. The Government's response to criticism of the wide ranging powers given to them by the ASIO laws has been, in effect, to say: "Trust us. We are a responsible organization, and we would only ever use these heavy powers if they were really necessary. We must have these powers, and you can be assured we will not abuse them." The difficulty with that approach, as experience has shown, not only in places like South Africa, but even here in Australia, is that reality turns out otherwise. The revelations of the Palmer Report demonstrate how abuses of power occur where there is no accessible and realistic way people can question what is happening to them. What happened to our trust in this situation? What happened to Cornelia Rau's trust or Vivian Solon's? Do they still trust our government?" Jon von Doussa, HEROC

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 1, 2005 - 12:03pm.
Beazley abandons his duty over Reign of Terror laws

"In all of these hypothetical cases, the play, or film, or book, or song, or picture, or television programme could well be found to constitute, objectively, the “urging”, of a person or persons exposed to it to engage in proscribed conduct. In any such case, ordinarily all of those involved in the dissemination of such works would potentially be guilty of sedition under the Bill: writers, directors, producers, actors, singers, painters, editors, publishers, distributors, broadcasters. All would arguably have “urged” such conduct." Advice from Peter Gray SC to Peter Garrett MP.

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 1, 2005 - 1:32am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #7

More links and updates - national and interrnational.
Public forum today in Canberra - Monday, 31 October 2005, Time: 4 - 6pm, Reception Room, ACT Legislative Assembly.
Public rally - Saturday, 5 November 2005, Belmore Park, Sydney as part of a national weeeknd of protest.

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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on October 31, 2005 - 11:59pm.
The cat’s paw finally lets the cat out of the bag

"Now that it is clear from Ruddock’s slip of the tongue what is planned, all becomes clear. The States do not have to amend their legislation at all. What is undoubtedly proposed is that the States will pass a referring Act, the Commonwealth will pass the Anti-Terrorism Bill and the States will then re-enact it. ... This changes considerably what has to be done to defeat this legislation. Immediate pressure should be brought to bear on State Parliaments not to pass the referring Act." Malcolm B Duncan

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on October 29, 2005 - 2:37am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #6

Next Tuesday the Federal Opposition in the House of Reps will have only 10 minutes to digest the new Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005. Opposition and debate surrounding the Bill and its rush job is accelerating.

The introduction of the Bill has been delayed.

Today's update includes a press release from Jon Stanhope, and links to further legal opinion commissioned by the Chief Minister, plus reportage on issues that may become illegal to report in a few short days or weeks.

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on October 27, 2005 - 2:34pm.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #5

More links and updates - national and international.
Public meeting - National Library of Australia, tonight 6-8pm.
Call to action from the editor of New Matilda

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on October 26, 2005 - 11:41pm.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #4

Seditious opinion? Lock 'em up
Media Watch 24 October 2005
An expert legal opinion obtained by Media Watch on the impact of the new Anti-Terrorism Bill says that journalists and the commentators they interview might be caught out by the new laws on sedition.
In last week's show we drew your attention to the new sedition offences, as proposed in the leaked draft of the government's Anti Terrorist bill, which is still on our website.
Dictionaries define sedition as conduct or language inciting rebellion against the government. As a criminal offence it has a long and dishonourable history as a means of shutting down political dissent, back in the Cold War and before.
Our concern is how the new sedition offences might criminalise the expression, reporting and publication of the range of opinions in our society. - http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1489465.htm

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on October 25, 2005 - 10:09pm.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #3

How Democracies Fight Terrorism
by Malcolm Fraser
Stephen Murray-Smith Memorial Lecture
State Library of Victoria, 19 October 2005
FULL SPEECH - http://margokingston.typepad.com/harry_version_2/webdiary_community/MalcolmFraserlecture.htm

War of words over shoot-to-kill
The Australian, Brad Norington and Samantha Maiden, October 21, 2005
-POLICE can already use lethal force under the federal Government's Crimes Act to protect lives when making arrests for an offence. - http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,16986978%255E2702,00.html

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on October 25, 2005 - 2:45am.
Make-believe democracy: drowning with the authoritarians

"Under totalitarian regimes, be it Stalinism, Hitlerism or whatever -ism, the code for blind obedience tends to rule. So when my sister Margita failed to follow the code of blind obedience and attended church services in 1979 she was sacked from her teaching post and forced to work in a railway yard. What is perplexing about the communist experience is how so many well-intentioned and apparently decent people could have participated in and defended a movement that directly led to the deaths of millions, and suffering, hardship and lack of freedom for many millions more. It is, in a sense, the key issue of our sad 20th century." Jozef Imrich

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 24, 2005 - 10:47pm.
The failure to provide effective judicial oversight

"The COAG Agreement states that the "[l]eaders agreed that any strengthened counter-terrorism law must...contain appropriate safeguards against abuse, such as. ..judicial review"... Given the importance of the principle of judicial oversight in the COAG Agreement, this paper briefly explains the proper role of judicial oversight in relation to anti-terrorism laws and the necessary conditions for effective judicial oversight. It then details why the provisions of the draft Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 (Cth) dealing with control orders and preventive detention orders fall short of providing effective judicial oversight." Joo-Cheong Tham

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 22, 2005 - 6:28am.
Federal Government locks ACT out of drafting of counter-terrorism laws

Breaking news.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 22, 2005 - 3:38am.
James Jupp on the draft anti-terrorism bill

"Sedition and treason are ancient crimes (Crimes Act 1914) here defined as including 'bringing the Sovereign into hatred and contempt'; urging disaffection against the Constitution, the Government of the Commonwealth or either House of the Parliament; promoting 'feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth' (Schedule 7-4, 80.2). While there is provision for acts done in 'good faith' as opposed to 'recklessness' (80.2 and 80.3), this is a rich potential field for the suppression of opinion." James Jupp

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on October 22, 2005 - 12:36am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #2

On Thursday, we began a series of links updates on anti-terrorism issues both here and abroad. Today's list has been collected with thanks again to Webdiarist and Media Dragon blogger Jozef Imrich and Webdiary contributors. Keep sending them in.

Australia

A betrayal of trust and liberty
The Age, Australia 20/10/05
- The Government and Opposition assume we cannot fight terrorism while adhering to principles of democracy and justice. Their folly is a grave threat to our freedom, writes Malcolm Fraser. - http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/a-betrayal-of-trust-and-liberty/2005/10/19/1129401313656.html

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 21, 2005 - 7:10am.
Jon Stanhope on why: a Webdiary exclusive

"I made the final decision to publish the draft on the day I went to address hundreds of local Muslims at the Canberra Mosque, to explain to them my September 27 decision to agree to the Commonwealth's proposed suite of counter-terrorism laws. It occurred to me that I was asking Canberra Muslims to trust me, without extending the same courtesy to them. I was asking them to put their faith in me, without putting my faith in them. Why shouldn't they see these laws, to which I had committed the ACT on their behalf? Why shouldn't they know whether the assurances I believed I had extracted from the Commonwealth were reflected in the draft I had been provided? Why shouldn't they see what was in store for them and for their fellow Canberrans?" Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister, ACT.

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on October 21, 2005 - 3:51am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update

This is the first of a regular, daily if possible, summary of some of the recent media on the introduction of anti-terrorism laws both here and abroad. Included are some that date back to 2002 when these laws began surfacing in our 21stC Western world. If you find a link or an article for or against the new laws, please send it in and we will add it to the list each day. Post reviews and comments on what you read.

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on October 20, 2005 - 10:59am.
Multiculturalism does not breed terrorism

"How did multiculturalism go from being hailed as an antidote to alienation to being accused of aiding and abetting terrorism, the scourge of the new century?" Petro Georgiou MP

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 19, 2005 - 8:15am.
Three weeks until new year's day, 1984

Australians have three weeks to protect our human rights for the next ten years, or more. Once the legislation is passed there is no turning back. Dissent will effectively be outlawed. Webdiary is committed to using all the skills and resources available to us to stop the legislation being passed without thorough, honest and transparent debate accross the nation. The contribution of all Webdiarists is vital.

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Submitted by tony kevin on October 19, 2005 - 2:37am.
The Howard counter-terrorism legislation, and me

"I am going to address here the very personal question that will face those of of us like me, who will want to continue to contribute to democratic public discourse in Australia after these laws come into effect. What will these laws do to the way people like me exercise our rights to take part in Australia's public political conversation as Australian citizens, residents and voters? Such a personal affirmation has been turning around in my mind for some weeks. I am trying honestly to address the question - how will this legislation affect me in my public life as an Australian citizen? And I intend now to make my answer public, because I think to do so is in the public interest." Tony Kevin

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Submitted by Bryan Law on October 17, 2005 - 6:40am.
Entering the 'gap' between what's right and what's legal

"From 16 November this year the Australian government becomes entitled to give three years notice of termination of the Pine Gap treaty with the US, at any time. The goal of our affinity group at this important time is to build public awareness of the goals and operation of Pine Gap so that a future Australian government will terminate its lease at the earliest opportunity." Bryan Law

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 17, 2005 - 5:21am.
In confidence: the new anti terrorism laws

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has made the Commonwealth’s draft counter-terrorism legislation publicly available on his website, to encourage community discussion and awareness of the incoming laws.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 13, 2005 - 12:44am.
Anti-terror laws: international legal concern grows

"The Law Council says that there is an escalating groundswell of opinion in the international legal profession against draconian anti-terror laws - there is a rapidly growing international view that more faith needs to be shown in our traditional legal protections." Media release.

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Submitted by David Roffey on October 4, 2005 - 2:07am.
Bali bombings

"In July we went to Bali for a wedding. The bride and groom were Sydney-based Kiwis who love Bali and wanted to support the island and its wonderful people. We loved it too, and made a small investment in a resort so we could go back again and again. We still intend to do that, despite the events of Saturday night. Once again the primary victims of the blasts were local people. If we abandon the predominantly Hindu people of Bali because of the acts of fanatics we will only hurt them more." David Roffey

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Submitted by Kerri Browne on September 9, 2005 - 6:49am.
A new national regime

"The Government will grant increased powers to law enforcement and security agencies to enhance their capacity to prevent attacks. Importantly, control orders will be available to our law enforcement agencies in circumstances where a person might pose a risk to the community but cannot be contained or detained under existing legislation." Prime Minister John Howard

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 2, 2005 - 6:02am.
Be alarmed, not just alert, on ASIO power extension

"We should be alarmed, not merely alert, about Australia's terror laws. They abrogate civil rights, which are our bulwark against tyranny. We are already seeing them used in what appears to be a McCarthyist witch hunt against vulnerable members of the community. We have spawned a monster, and it is only now beginning to show its menace. These laws are due to expire in July next year, but the Federal Attorney-General has called for their retention beyond that period. They should be repealed immediately." Melbourne silk Brian Walters SC

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