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Anti-Terrorism Laws

Submitted by Margo Kingston on December 1, 2005 - 2:56am.
Howard's Christmas terror dejavu for Simon Crean

"A series of terrorism bills were introduced into this chamber in March 2002. The basis for them being introduced set the pattern. They were introduced at 8 pm on 12 March 2002—a hundred pages of legislation; a hundred pages of explanatory memorandum—and were debated the very next day. Under the original proposed bill, the government were seeking ASIO warrants to be provided for indefinite detention and questioning of persons, including children, who have information on terrorist attacks. They proposed detention incommunicado. They proposed no right to decline to give information or produce a document, no penalty for officers who do not administer the bill correctly and no parliamentary oversight. That legislation, of course, in 2002 had serious flaws. Labor was able to make that legislation better, ensuring the terrorists—but only the terrorists—were targeted." Simon Crean on Howard's form

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 29, 2005 - 10:42am.
Why LabLib senators said to say no to Howard's sedition plans

Anti-terrorism Bill (no 2) 2005 Senate Report: chapter 5 - Sedition and advocacy. The findings.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 29, 2005 - 8:30am.
Senate terror report released

G'day. The Senate Inquiry report into the Anti-Terrorism bill was released today at 4.30 pm. Labor and Liberal have come together with a bipartisan report that gives maximum power to small 'l' Liberals in their dealings with Howard. Here are the recommendations and the chapter two overview.

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Submitted by tony kevin on November 29, 2005 - 3:04am.
Senate report showdown

G'day. I'm at Parliament House and it's delivery day for the Senate Inquiry into the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill (No 2) 2005. The Senate Report will be published this afternoon and will recommend the removal of the sedition provisions in the terror laws. This finding was unanimous, and sets the scene for a showdown with Howard by small l Liberals, just as occurred with his terror laws in 2002.

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 29, 2005 - 1:14am.
When scrutiny, secrecy and security collide

"The exceptional needs of combating terrorism used to justify the provisions of the The Anti-Terrorism Bill (No 2) 2005 have at the same time enabled their extension to include measures that would not otherwise be readily accepted within the criminal justice system. These political and legal innovations have drastically affected the capacity for citizens to engage in the full and open political communication essential to democratic participation, ‘an informed and engaged public realises the promise of liberal democracy and fulfils its ideal of citizenship’. Good public policy thrives on debate, encourages difference and welcomes dissent. Insulating the security sector from open debate, critique and alternative approaches, cannot lead to the best policy outcomes." Jenny Hocking

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 28, 2005 - 3:05am.
Olga Ohanessian, a citizens voice on terror laws

G'day. In the course of email correspondence this week, Webdiary reader Olga Ohanessian wrote: "I sent a submission to the Senate Committee on anti terror laws today, inspired by the fact that so many ordinary people have made submissions." Good on you Olga. Olga later gave me gave her permission to publish: "I believe in exercising free speech while we have it.  It is a very precious, fragile creature and we must preserve it by exercising it. Mine is a very ordinary person's voice which I am happy to add to the flood of erudite voices which I read on your link to the Senate Committee."

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Submitted by tony kevin on November 18, 2005 - 4:02am.
The subversion of Australian democracy

"Howard's step-by-step desensitisation of Australians to our traditional democratic values is being aided by powerful media organisations that have lost sight of their duty to speak truth to the people and to power. And by ambitious men and women who lead public service and national security organisations, and are similarly negligent of their public duty to offer fearless advice on the rule of law and on the social consequences of government policies and actions that transgress the rule of law. And the desperately opportunistic federal Opposition leader must share the blame too, for his cowardly me-tooism on all national security issues." Tony Kevin

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 15, 2005 - 7:40am.
Law Council of Australia's terror laws analysis

G'day. Hot off the press, here's the Law Council of Australia's analysis of the terror legislation. The Council's president will give evidence to the Senate inquiry into the matter this afternoon. 

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 15, 2005 - 4:11am.
Terror laws will damage public trust, ferment civil disorder: Aussie funds manager

"Major changes to basic human rights threaten to undermine the foundations of both our society and economic system. As international investors with considerable experience covering the emerging economies of Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, as well as the world’s major economies, it is our observation that strong basic rights enshrined in the law and the judicial system are fundamental to creating economic prosperity. Indeed the “level of trust” within societies and the correlation with economic prosperity has been an area of significant academic study in recent years. We believe there is a high risk that the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism (No. 2) Bill 2005 will, over time, damage the level of trust in Australian society... We concur that Australia faces the real threat of terrorist acts on our shores. However, in the event of an attack(s), the subsequent confusion, fear and sense of injustice could produce an environment that sows the seed for a discordant civil order, exacerbated by poorly considered and drafted legislation." Kerr Neilson, MD of Platinum Asset Management, Australia's biggest offshore fund manager

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 11, 2005 - 9:30pm.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #16

|| Long wait for suspects || The PM and sedition laws || 'Suspect' flees || Snooping potentially limits innovation || Blair's defeat - BBC links selection ||

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 11, 2005 - 6:53am.
Petro Georgiou on melding principle and pragmatism in terror laws

"We have to give our police and intelligence agencies sufficient powers to protect us, but we must also do so without betraying the very values we are defending. It is vital that we address the concerns of all groups seriously, as a matter of both principle and pragmatism. Parliament needs to ensure that the intelligence and law enforcement agencies have the necessary powers and protections to operate effectively. Equally, it must ensure that the application of the law does not lead to the alienation of community groups whose active participation is essential for the success of intelligence collection and law enforcement." Petro Georgiou, Liberal, in Parliament today.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 11, 2005 - 5:21am.
Parliament is now debating...

G'day. The House of Representatives began debating the Anti-Terrorism package late this morning. The Government intends to guillotine the debate sometime today. Here is the text of the Labor amendment Parliament is now debating followed by the speech by Shadow Attorney General Nicola Roxon. Liberal dissident Petro Georgiou has just delivered a speech to Parliament detailing his significant concerns with the package and urging the Senate Committee to come up with several amendments to improve it. I will publish his speech as soon as it is available.

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 11, 2005 - 12:57am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #15

|| Police did not rely on new laws, say lawyers || Muslims seek protection from 'rednecks' || Citizenship and visa reviews || Azahari dead? || The collapse of Teflon Tony || Headline offensive? - what do you think. ||

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 10, 2005 - 5:21am.
Australia's anti-terrorism laws lack adequate oversight mechanisms

"In the absence of any domestic human rights instrument and in light of limited judicial review, it is clear that effective parliamentary review of the antiterrorism laws is all the more important. Indeed, it was the Senate committee process that successfully toned down many of the worst parts of the antiterrorism legislation introduced by the Howard government in 2002-2004. However, with both Houses of Parliament now under Coalition control, the process of reviewing legislation before it is enacted is unlikely to continue to provide effective and adequate safeguards." Christopher Michaelsen

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 10, 2005 - 1:30am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #14

|| The laws are adequate || Commissioner feared media tipped off suspects || Man in Australian raids allegedly seeking revenge for Iraq || Aussies schooled by al-Qa'ida || No Commonwealth Games link in terror raids || Political espionage Court hears of plot 'to leak policy' || Parliamentry Library international terrorism law links... ||

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 9, 2005 - 6:19am.
Howard all smiles post raids as he chokes Parliament's debate on terror laws

G'day. The Government today tossed aside the right of our elected representatives to properly consider the Terror Laws in the House of Representatives, formerly known as the People's House, and to have their say on them for the record. The voluminous package was released just last week, yet the PM decreed that a mere 4 hours be allotted for Parliamentary debate in the Reps, from 9am on Thursday, before the guillotine is applied and a vote forced. UPDATE 11.20pm: Ruddock admits on Lateline that there is NO investigation into leaks to News Ltd newspapers last week of operational details Howard and Ruddock refused to discuss at their press conference the day before on the grounds that to do so would compromise national security.

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 9, 2005 - 12:58am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #13

|| Raids in Sydney and Melbourne - fifteen arrested || Costello links raid to law changes || Army to have shoot-to-kill powers during Commonwealth Games ||  Blair accepts defeat over plan to hold terror suspects || US Senators question 'aggressive' FBI actions under Patriot Act ||

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 8, 2005 - 12:22am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #12

NB: THE SENATE INQUIRY INTO THE TERROR LAWS IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS. SUBMISSIONS CLOSE ON NOVEMBER 11. || Beware alarmist rubbish, says Beattie || Police track 'terror plotters' || Terror plotters may stay free || Sedition laws need the chop, say MPs || Sedition gag is no joke, say satirists || Five years in jail for reporting the truth || Top lawyer damns 'unfair' terror laws || Plan to fast-track troops on streets || plus photos from the weekend rallies...

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 5, 2005 - 11:33am.
Justice Alastair Nicholson on government terror, media complicity and the death of a responsible Opposition

"In considering this proposed legislation, it is important to remember that in Australia there is no effective human rights framework surrounding the new anti-terrorism legislation. Unlike other western democracies, we have no Bill of Rights and therefore no check upon extreme legislation of this type other than what can be found in the Constitution. The Australian Constitution contains no significant human rights clauses and the few that are there have been so read down by the High Court as to be almost meaningless....the media at least, has become inured to governmental attacks upon our liberties, or to take a more sinister view, that it or parts of it are engaging in self censorship...I regard the role of the Opposition as even more worrying than the role of the Government. It would appear that a more critical role is being played by the Government's own backbench and the Fairfax press than by the Opposition. Even worse is the behaviour of the States and Territories who have delivered a trump card to the Government that may even be sufficient to overcome the fragile protection that the Constitution offers." The Honourable Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 5, 2005 - 1:15am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #11

Parliament releases Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 (Cth) and Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 No 2 (Cth) - links here to speeches, amendments and Bills Digest.

|| Howard in hot water over revealing operation. || NZ PM Helen Clarke -  Australian officials have confirmed that there is no imminent threat of terrorist attacks. || Senior analyst says not conspiracy but believes Howard briefed earlier than Monday. ||

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 5, 2005 - 1:15am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #11

Parliament releases Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 (Cth) and Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 No 2 (Cth) - links here to speeches, ammendments and Bills Digest.

|| Howard in hot water over revealing operation. || NZ PM Helen Clarke -  Australian officials have confirmed that there is no imminent threat of terrorist attacks. || Senior analyst says not conspiracy but believes Howard briefed earlier than Monday. ||

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 4, 2005 - 1:50am.
Will Howard investigate seditious leaks on terror scare against his public wishes? (rhetorical question)

G'day. I don't suppose anyone in the Opposition will dare make these obvious points today, so here goes. Where did the newspapers get their information from of the supposed details of the specific intelligence which Howard claimed triggered his emergency amendments to terror laws yesterday? I've read the news stories linked in today's Daily Briefing, and lots of detail - mostly stated as fact and unsourced - is there in black and white. I've set them out below.Yet Howard himself said over and over at his press conference yesterday that he wouldn't, indeed COULDN'T go into any detail IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 4, 2005 - 1:41am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #10


Key national anti-terrorism body 'not activated'

ABC Online November 3, 2005. 9:41am (AEDT)
ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says a key national counter-terrorism body was not informed of the latest terrorism threat. - http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200511/s1496633.htm

True test is just around the corner
The Age, November 3, 2005, By MICHELLE GRATTAN
ONE test of the need to rush a minor change to the nation's anti-terrorism laws through Parliament today will come almost immediately. This week the Government has received specific information of a terrorist threat to Australia. The PM says passage of the amendment will strengthen agencies' capacity to respond. If authorities require this instant legal finetuning, they'll presumably act at once. Logically, we should see arrests over the next few days. - http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/11/02/1130823280998.html

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 4, 2005 - 1:41am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #10


Key national anti-terrorism body 'not activated'

ABC Online November 3, 2005. 9:41am (AEDT)
ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says a key national counter-terrorism body was not informed of the latest terrorism threat. - http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200511/s1496633.htm

True test is just around the corner
The Age, November 3, 2005, By MICHELLE GRATTAN
ONE test of the need to rush a minor change to the nation's anti-terrorism laws through Parliament today will come almost immediately. This week the Government has received specific information of a terrorist threat to Australia. The PM says passage of the amendment will strengthen agencies' capacity to respond. If authorities require this instant legal finetuning, they'll presumably act at once. Logically, we should see arrests over the next few days. - http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/11/02/1130823280998.html

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 3, 2005 - 6:00am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #9

Late addition - Legal profession opposes Anti-Terror Bill and provides SUMMARY OF KEY MEASURES TO GIVE TO FRIENDS AND INTERESTED CITIZENS 

Stanhope excluded. ASIO warns of attack but no increase in alert and more... Change of venue for HEROC Darwin forum tomorrow with John von Doussa.

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 3, 2005 - 6:00am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #9

Late addition - Legal profession opposes Anti-Terror Bill and provides SUMMARY OF KEY MEASURES TO GIVE TO FRIENDS AND INTERESTED CITIZENS 

Stanhope excluded. ASIO warns of attack but no increase in alert and more... Change of venue for HEROC Darwin forum tomorrow with John von Doussa.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 3, 2005 - 3:40am.
Serious new terrorist threat to Oz, says JWH, so why no increased terror alert?

G'day. The PM and Mr Ruddock have just told reporters that a little bit of the terror laws package will be rushed through the House of Reps after question time, then through the Senate tomorrow arvo. It will, Howard said, alter current law referring to 'the' terrorist act to 'a' terrorist act. He wouldn't say why this particular change was urgent, and ensured there were no informed questions asked on behalf of Australians by insisting that he'd give reporters a statement on the detail AFTER he'd said his bit and gone to lunch.

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 2, 2005 - 8:54am.
ASIO questioned over Scott Parkin: the transcript

Senator BOB BROWN - Had Mr Parkin ever taken part in a violent or dangerous protest-that you are aware of?
(ASIO Chief) Mr O'Sullivan - While he was in Australia, do you mean?
Senator BOB BROWN - In Australia or elsewhere.
Mr O'Sullivan - I understand there was some background while he was in the United States, but I believe the answer to your question in respect of Australia is no.

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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 2, 2005 - 4:55am.
Beazley backs off pre-emptive yes to unseen terror laws, for now

G'day. Kim Beazley's determination as of yesterday to pass the reign of terror laws regardless of their contents folded today in Caucus, for now. Anticipating the disgust from many Labor MPs at shadow Cabinet's capitulation to Howard's sight unseen agenda yesterday, Beazley did not ask Caucus to endorse his stand. Instead, he successfully moved that Caucus support tough security laws with strong safeguards and promised a special Caucus meeting to decide Labor's position when the bill was finally published.

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Submitted by Jozef Imrich on November 2, 2005 - 3:01am.
Anti-terrorism laws - links update #8

Updated resources from the Federal Parliamentary Library
Forty of Australia's leading artists and journalists meet to discuss sedition concerns
Doctors caution on terror laws
... and more.

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