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Tuesday, 10 December 2002
Page: 7631

Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (10:09 PM) —In resolution 1373, the United Nations Security Council recognised that acts of terrorism constitute a threat to international peace and security. The Security Council also called on states to prevent and suppress terrorist acts. This bill will help ensure that Australia meets its obligations arising from resolution 1373. The government takes Australia's human rights obligations seriously and makes conscientious efforts to ensure that they are complied with. The bill recognises the need to ensure both the security and safety of the community and respect for individual rights. Ultimately, any person claiming that his or her international human rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have been violated has a right to lodge a communication with the United Nations Human Rights Committee. We believe it would be impossible for any country to say categorically that no breaches of its international human rights obligations will ever occur, because these obligations relate to the treatment of individuals and compliance will depend on the circumstances of each individual case. But one has to remember that stemming from that resolution by the United Nations Security Council is a duty on member states to prevent and suppress terrorist acts. This is what the bill is primarily aimed at. As for the safeguards in this bill, if Senator Brown will not rely on what the government says, he merely has to look at the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee report at page X to see the safeguards built into this bill outlined at length.