Wiki Actu en

November 2, 2005

Anti-terror amendments to be rushed through Australian parliament because of new \’potential threats\’

Anti-terror amendments to be rushed through Australian parliament because of new ‘potential threats’

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

New terror amendments are to be rushed through Australian Federal Parliament based on new threats recently revealed by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). The government claimed in a media release today that it has this week received specific information about a terrorist threat to Australia.

“The Government has received specific intelligence and police information this week which gives cause for serious concern about a potential terrorist threat. The detail of this intelligence has been provided to the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Minister for Homeland Security,” the release said.

The government claims that the new bill is intended to improve the ability of intelligence services and the police to counter this threat.

“The Government is satisfied on the advice provided to it that the immediate passage of this bill would strengthen the capacity of law enforcement agencies to effectively respond to this threat,” the release said.

The opposition leader, Kim Beazley, has been briefed by the Prime Minister on the nature of the threat, and has pledged that Labor will support the amendments.

The amendments are separate to the proposed anti-terror legislation.

Some commentators noted that the nation’s security alert level had not been escalated as a result of the new information and remained at “medium” and a subsequent interview with the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock on Lateline appeared to indicate that there was in fact no information about a specific imminent threat.

Greens’ Senator Bob Brown noted that there are already laws that could deal with a specific imminent threat: “Whoever these unnamed people are, they can be arrested, they can be interrogated for up to seven days, they can be charged under the current crimes act.” he said.

The government has a track record of presenting misleading information to the public for political ends as in the infamous children overboard affair when refugees where vilified by ministers of the Australian government, including the Prime Minister, on the basis of false evidence.

Sources

  • Press Release. “ANTI-TERRORISM BILL” — Prime Minister of Australia website, November 2, 2005
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 27, 2005

Australian anti-terror laws will be delayed

Australian anti-terror laws will be delayed

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Jon Stanhope, the Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister, is the first Australian state or territory chief to reject the Howard Government’s proposed anti-terror legislation in its current state.

He said he would not vote into law the ACT’s part of the legislation, including extending preventive detention of terror suspects to 14 days, unless there were changes.

The Federal Government requires the support of a least four states to give the final legislation the go-ahead. If the Commonwealth proceeds with its laws without the ACT’s co-operation – the territory could become the odd jurisdiction out, as the only one without preventive detention for people suspected of planning a terrorist attack.

“I’m quite happy to change it provided the situation is covered,” Mr Howard told reporters in Madang, at the Pacific Islands Forum. “I’m quite relaxed about the final form of the legislation, providing it delivers on the substance of the agreement.” Mr Howard said he was not committed to introducing the changes next week, although he wanted them by Christmas.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, who was outraged that the Government had chosen Melbourne Cup Day as a cover to introduce the Bills, pointed out that the Treasurer and the Prime Minister were at odds.

Constitutional Questions

The Australian PM has agreed to changes to Australia’s controversial Anti-Terror Laws, after comments from his own Treasurer.

Peter Costello, speaking to The Age Newspaper for the first time on the issue, apparently contradicted earlier statements made by the PM, saying, “Unfortunately nobody ever finally knows these things until such time as the court rules”.

“Peter Costello contradicted John Howard today and went out there and said ‘Well it might be unconstitutional but let’s just sort of suck it and see’,” Mr Beazley said to Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper.

Mr Howard said there was nothing of concern in legal advice from the Solicitor-General and he remained convinced the laws were constitutional, but did concede to changes to the so-called “shoot-to-kill” provisions for police. . Queensland Premier Peter Beattie welcomed Mr Howard’s move on the shoot-to-kill clause and said he was confident all constitutional issues could be overcome.

Human Rights

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission(HREOC) president is of the belief that the bill needs to be reconsidered because it is not in line with Australia’s international human rights obligations.

HREOC is a national independent statutory body of the Australian Government. It has the responsibility for investigating alleged infringements under Australia’s anti-discrimination legislation.

The Head of HREOC says under the proposed laws the opportunity to challenge a detention order against an individual or a control order against the person’s family is unrealistic, and has concerns about what happens to a person after they are subjected to a preventive detention order.

“They’re not told why they’re subject to it, nor is there any way in which they can go about challenging the facts upon which that order is made,” he told the ABC.

“That’s the real, the most serious of the human rights issues in the whole procedure. There is no means of reviewing what has been done once its happened.”

“International human rights law requires that a person who is detained must have the right to challenge this detention in a court without delay. Review before the court needs to include: consideration of whether the order is based on a correct understanding of the facts; whether the detention is fair; whether it is reasonably necessary in the circumstances; and whether it is proportionate to the goal of protecting national security. The current form of the bill simply fails to meet these basic guarantees.”

HREOC says a special court should be established to review enforcement provisions in the draft bill.


Related news

  • “Australian Minister ‘leaks’ draft of anti-terror bill” — Wikinews, October 15, 2005
  • “Australian “terror laws” face backlash” — Wikinews, October 19, 2005
  • “Premiers take on Australian PM on Shoot To Kill Laws” — Wikinews, October 20, 2005
  • Australian PM says proposed Anti-Terror Laws are Constitutional” — Wikinews, October 25, 2005

Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Australian Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 25, 2005

Australian PM says proposed Anti-Terror Laws are Constitutional

Australian PM says proposed Anti-Terror Laws are Constitutional

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

John Howard has dismissed the claims made by the Queensland’s Solicitor General that the Federal Government’s proposed anti-terror laws could be unconstitutional. He has also come under criticism for planning to introduce the laws on Melbourne Cup Day, a day when most Australian’s will be paying attention to a Horse Race, and not politics.

In an unusual move, the government will compel an instantaneous debate on the legislation, giving the opposition 10 minutes to scrutinize the draft laws rather than the usual fortnight.

Opposition homeland security spokesman Arch Bevis told The Age newspaper “This is an extraordinary abuse of power, the likes of which I don’t think anyone would remember,”

“John Howard now has control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and if he wants to use his power in an arrogant, bloody-minded way we don’t have the numbers to stop him.”

Earlier today Queensland’s Peter Beattie told ABC Radio that the Prime Minister’s proposals could face legal challenges. Other State Premiers are seeking their own legal advice, with only the Western Australian Premier also raising similar concerns

John Howard told ABC’s World Today “The advice we have is that these laws are constitutional. There’s never been any doubt raised by our legal advisers”.

The Prime Minister added he would be willing to talk through the issue with the State Premiers. Agreeing this morning that the solicitor-generals from the states will consult along with the national equivalent to work through these issues .

The QLD Premier who supports the principles of the bill told ABC radio “I’m not interested in making this a public issue, or pursuing some sort of silly public debate. What I’m interested in is resolving these issues, ensuring that we actually protect Australia, protect the nation, and protect Australians as well. That’s why we’ve insisted on a public interest monitor. Any of these legal issues we will deal with and we’ll deal with them sensibly.

Independent supporters of the bill are urging the government to push ahead. Neil James from the Australia Defense Association says that the legal precedents recognized during World War I and World War II would indicate that most of the reasonably contentious provisions would be constitutional.

However Constitutional lawyer John Williams says that judges and magistrates could argue that the proposed laws undermined judicial independence. Dr Williams believes a High Court challenge to the laws was almost inevitable.

Telling ABC Radio that “I could not see that this legislation could operate for long without a challenge being made,”

The Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley calling on Mr Howard to exercise vigilance as it would exasperate Australian taxpayers if people mistakenly subjected to his anti-terror laws were then paid thousands of dollars in damages.

Interviewed by Melbourne’s Herald Sun Newspaper, he said, “You have to, when you are introducing laws like this, make absolutely certain there are checks and balances in it.”

Mr Beazley also says that the Anti-Terror Laws aren’t the action the Government could be taking to protect Australians..

“We have yawning gaps, yawning holes in the protection of the Australian people.”

He cited Australia’s coastal borders as being unprotected, with habitual illegal fishing incursions, a sign of the country’s vulnerabilities

Previous related news

  • “Australian Minister ‘leaks’ draft of anti-terror bill” — Wikinews, October 15, 2005
  • “Australian “terror laws” face backlash” — Wikinews, October 19, 2005
  • “Premiers take on Australian PM on Shoot To Kill Laws” — Wikinews, October 20, 2005

Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Australian Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 15, 2005

Australian Minister \’leaks\’ draft of anti-terror bill

Australian Minister ‘leaks’ draft of anti-terror bill

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, October 15, 2005 Jon Stanhope, the Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister, has posted a confidential draft of the proposed Australian anti-terror bill to his website. Mr Stanhope says he hopes posting draft counter-terrorism laws on his website will open community debate about the issue and has stated that he will not comply with instructions from the Commonwealth to remove the document. The Australian Labor Party is backing his actions.

The main impetus for the action appears to be the short amount of time the Senate committee will have to debate the bill; just one day. In particular the Greens Senator Bob Brown has accused the Government of engineering the circumstances that only allow a one-day inquiry.

“It was an extraordinary premeditated attack on the Senate committee system and effectively made the committee system a farce,” said Senator Brown. Others, including the Australian Law Council, have expressed concerns about the scope of the proposed bill.

Prime Minister John Howard has defended the process, saying “It’s important for the security of Australia, it was unanimously agreed to by me with the eight Labor premiers and chief ministers, and we can’t have any undue delay that the legislation will be exposed for public scrutiny and it will reflect that agreement.”

Human Rights Watch and the International Federation of Journalists have also criticised the proposed laws, saying that they will impede press freedom, “severely threaten Australians’ civil liberties and violate international law”.

Concerns with the Bill

The concern with the bill has centered on a number of areas:

  • A so-called “shoot to kill” policy, especially in the wake of the shooting of an innocent Brazilian man in London.
  • 14 day Preventative Detention Without Charge
  • 5 years jail for revealing information about an ASIO detention
  • Control Orders involving tracking devices and home detention which can be extended indefinitely
  • The inclusion and definition of sedition, which in the bill may include “to bring the sovereign [i.e. the Queen] into hatred or contempt”, or to “urge disaffection” with the Australian Government. Australian law does not protect freedom of speech, so this proposed law may effectively outlaw criticizing the Australian Government. It may also effectively outlaw some protests.
  • The ability of judges to make decisions outside of the court system.
  • ‘Recklessly’ providing funds to anyone who *might* be a terrorist is an offence, punishable by life imprisonment, even if they are not a terrorist

See also

  • Australian Senate inquiry to new anti-terrorism laws to take place in one day

Sources

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Australian Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005

See Wikipedia articles about historical parallels:

  • USA PATRIOT Act
  • Reichstag Fire Decree
  • Sedition Act of 1918
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 14, 2005

Australian Senate inquiry to new anti-terrorism laws to take place in one day

Australian Senate inquiry to new anti-terrorism laws to take place in one day

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, October 14, 2005

Canberra, Australia

An Australian Senate inquiry into new federal anti-terrorism laws is to take place in effectively one day, it was revealed in the Senate October 13.

Senator Robert Hill today moved that the laws, after introduction in the Australian House of Representatives, be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, with the report date set November 8 — the Senate resumes sitting on November 7, after Senate estimates have been taken place, leaving either next Friday or the weekend for the inquiry to take place.

Amendments to make the date for report later were proposed: the first date of sitting in 2006 was proposed by Senator Andrew Bartlett, and November 28 this year was proposed by Natasha Stott-Despoja. A division on those amendments was called for, but the vote must take place on the next day of sitting — November 7, due to an earlier order regarding divisions on Thursday at 4.30pm. The inquiry thus cannot commence until after this date.

Senators tempers were raised and vociferously decried the little time alloted for debate on the legislation. Senator John Faulkner called the situation “sheer bastardry of the government”, and said “It is one of the most contemptible and despicable things I have ever seen in the time that I have been a senator in this chamber. How low can you go?”. Senator Bob Brown has stated that in order to elucidate further Government actions, “between now and Christmas, when Senator Hill asks for leave, he will not get it. He will not get it.” and later called the government “a disgrace […] to Australia” and “a disgrace […] to this nation.”

Senator Julian McGauran said to Senator Stott-Despoja “you would be against [the laws] anyway.” Senator Stott-Despoja replied “Don’t bait me, Senator McGauran, today because I am not in the mood for it.” Senator McGauran earlier this week drew the anger of Senator Stott-Despoja, who lost a friend in the September 11 attacks, by asking her “Have you once in this chamber acknowledged the war on terror?”.

The Government has defended its decision, with Senator Hill stating “Unless it is agreed, it is not going to go through. We cannot have divisions, and at least we have tried. … Time is of the essence in this matter.” and later expressed “regret that this motion has been moved with very little consultation.” Senator Eric Abetz has remarked that “on 7 November the Senate would be voting on whether or not an inquiry would be held to report the very next day. Of course, that would make a mockery of the system,” and that the Opposition failing to drop the amendments “clearly indicates that the Labor Party … are going to try to play the technical game and say, ‘The government will only give us one day to deal with the issue.'”

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • Australian Senate, Hansard (pdf), October 13, 2005
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 11, 2005

UK \”terror bill\” passed after standoff

UK “terror bill” passed after standoff – Wikinews, the free news source

UK “terror bill” passed after standoff

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, March 11, 2005

After an unprecedented thirty hour debate in the United Kingdom between the elected government and the main opposition party, the Conservatives, the Prevention of Terrorism Bill was passed by the House of Lords.

Despite the new legislation being passed, the Conservative leader Michael Howard claimed victory, as the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, made a last minute compromise on several details of the bill.

The lengthy debate was the third longest in the history of the House of Lords. The new bill will replace the current Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001

Background

  • War on terrorism

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 2, 2005

Blair rejects anti-terror bill compromise

Blair rejects anti-terror bill compromise

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, March 2, 2005 A compromise put forward by the Conservatives that would have allowed easier passage through the Commons of the proposed new anti-terror legislation has been rejected by Prime Minister Tony Blair. The bill proposes new “control orders” for terror suspects which include house arrest, curfews, tagging and bans on internet and phone use. The bill will replace current powers that allow the detention of foreign terror suspects without trial which has been ruled against as a breach of human rights by the law lords.

The Conservatives wanted a “sunset clause” inserted into the bill which would have allowed ministers to revisit it in November. MPs from all parties have severely criticised the way the bill has been seemingly “steamrollered” through the Commons with only two days to debate the plans before a vote is called.

Conservative leader Michael Howard said in the Commons that it would be “far better if the whole of the legislation was subject to a sunset clause so Parliament could consider it all in a proper way instead of it being ramrodded through.”

Mr. Blair said that the new house arrest powers were already going to be subject to a sunset clause because it was annually renewable. “I believe they are a proper balance between the civil liberties of the subject and the necessary national security of this country that I will not put at risk,” he added.

Opposition to the bill by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have already won concessions this week. Home Secretary Charles Clarke has backed down and allowed judges to have the first say in the most severe control order cases, however, this may not be enough to ensure a smooth ride through the Lords. It is expected that the bill will face tough opposition and demands for a radical re-draft.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten has urged the Conservatives to “stick firm? There’s a lot of talking left. I would be uneasy about supporting a very bad bill even if it was just for eight months,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch said that it was a “basic principle” that people should only be punished after a fair trial. “Having a judge impose those punishments does not sanitise them either,” she added.

Sources

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4311295.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4289349.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4303869.stm


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
« Newer Posts

Powered by WordPress