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Tuesday, 25 June 2002
Page: 2594

Senator HARRADINE (9:20 PM) —I need some encouragement if I am to support this particular provision in the bill, and I refer to proposed section 102. I draw the attention of the chamber—and perhaps remind some in the chamber who are familiar with them—to the comments made by Lord Lloyd of Barwick in his review of the UK terrorism laws. He considered that the primary purpose of proscription was `to give legislative expression to public revulsion and reassurance that severe measures were being taken'. Thus proscription has been viewed as `essentially a cosmetic part' of antiterrorist laws.

That is an interesting observation and one which is worthy of consideration. Why indeed is proscription necessary? Is it to pre-empt the commission of terrorist offences? If that were the case and with a proscription order against an organisation, what is to prevent that organisation from reconstituting itself? I am directing these remarks particularly to the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Ellison, through you, Mr Temporary Chairman. For example, if you proscribe an organisation, what is there within the legislation that would prevent the organisation from reconstituting itself? Is the proscription necessary for capturing persons who would not otherwise be captured by the terrorist offences? Is that a reason for proscription? Why would that be the case? If that is the reason that the government is proposing proscription, why is it? Why is it necessary to have proscription controlled by the executive rather than the judiciary? Going further, why are there no provisions allowing an individual or an organisation to object and make submissions in relation to pending proscriptions? These are some of the things that are exercising my mind. I am wondering whether the minister might put my mind at rest on those particular matters. I am really wondering why it is necessary to have proscription in this legislation. Obviously, the government has a very valid reason or certain reasons which might appeal to the committee, but for the life of me at the moment I cannot see why there is need for proscription.