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Law Council's outrage at one week review for anti -terror laws.
14 October 2005
Law Council's Outrage at One Week Review for Anti -Terror Laws
[Back to 2005 Media Releases]
The Law Council has condemned the government's decision to rush their proposed anti-terror laws through Parliament, with a Senate inquiry being given just one week to review the legislation. As well, state and territory governments have been given only a week to sign off on the federal government's draft.
"Anti-terror laws of this draconian kind need to be justified and be proportionate to the potential threat rather than forced through by government with indecent haste", said Law Council President Mr North.
"In the absence of an appropriate period for scrutiny and consultation, the government must be careful to balance its anti-terror measures with the important rights of Australian citizens."
The government's decision made late yesterday, means that flaws in the system will go unchecked with little regard for balancing the interests of the community.
Mr North said, "Australia's strong democratic system is built on a robust, open and accountable system of responsible government. The removal of effective public consultation in relation to one of the most important pieces of legislation in Australia's history on criminal law demonstrates contempt for the rights of Australians."
"State and territory governments should not respond to the federal governments request within the week unless they are completely satisfied with the scope of the legislation and the safeguards and protections provided within it."
"The Law Council strongly urges the government to provide a reasonable time for public consultation - the Australian people, state and territory governments and respect for our political processes, deserve at least this much," Mr North concluded.
Media Contact: Elenore Eriksson, Director Public Affairs - 02 6246 3716/0419 269 855
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