- Parliamentary Business
- Senators & Members
- News & Events
- About Parliament
- Visit Parliament
Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
COAG must protect rights.
Australian Democrats Press Releases
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Democrats Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Attorney Generals
Dated: 27 September 2005 Press Release Number: 05/470 Portfolio: Attorney Generals Related: Attorney General & Justice
COAG must protect rights
Todays COAG meeting must ensure rights and civil liberties are protected in the 'tit for tat' over who can draft the most draconian anti-terror laws, according to the Australian Democrats.
"It is essential the rights and freedoms of Australians are not eroded in this my laws are bigger than your laws routine," Democrats Attorney-Generals Spokesperson Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said.
"The Government cannot take its anti-terrorism laws from overseas without also taking accompanying protections of civil and human rights.
"Both the United States and the United Kingdom, like most other countries of the world, have protections for individual rights, providing an avenue of appeal and an opportunity for judicial review when governments infringe on these rights.
"In the United Kingdom, human rights are protected by the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
"Can the Prime Minister assure Australians that similar safeguards and protections will be enshrined in its new anti-terrorism laws?
"Can the State Premiers assure us that they will not support the laws without such protections especially given, due to constitutional limitations, the Prime Minister is relying on the States to introduce some of these laws?
"A bill of rights is one way of ensuring these rights and freedoms are protected. Australia is the only Commonwealth country without a bill of rights.
"While the ALP and the Coalition continue to engage in chest-beating, the Democrats have pledged to ensure that the rights of ordinary Australians are not completely undermined as a consequence of these bills, and will this year introduce legislation for a Bill of Rights to enshrine these rights in law," Senator Stott Despoja said.