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(generated from captions) were perpetrated Indeed, the fact the London attacks British suicide bombers by home-grown radical changes to Australian laws. has driven the urgency for So just how similar anti-terror laws are the government's proposed to their British counterparts? has made a comparative study Legal expert Dr Angela Ward far greater built-in safeguards. and concludes the British laws have

to speak to her We'll cross to London later in the program. First - our other headlines. Families on edge remain unaccounted for as Australian tourists in the wake of Hurricane Wilma. Tension in Damascus as Syria comes under pressure former Lebanese prime minister over the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. for the government And more criticism as it prepares to table Industrial Relations Bill. its controversial The Foreign Affairs Minister to Singapore's government will again appeal of an Australian in an attempt to save the life for drug trafficking. facing the death penalty Melbourne man believes The lawyer for the 25-year-old

making a personal plea for mercy. the greatest hope rests with the PM act if there was new information. But John Howard says he would only Narda Gilmore reports. From Canberra, for 25-year-old Van Tuong Nguyen, Time is running out team aren't about to give up hope. but his family, friends and legal We don't think this is the end yet. It really is only the beginning

and we're always still going fight Van deserves. for what we feel, you know, we can in order to keep him here. We've got to keep doing what execution within weeks The Melbourne man is facing after his final appeal for clemency by Singapore's government. was rejected the Australian Government can do. I think there's a lot more I think this is the time, in fact, as they previously have for them to be doing twice as much while he remains alive.

have already been made, Numerous appeals

by John Howard to Singapore's PM. including a direct plea there's little more it can do. The Government believes the quite high number of executions Bearing in mind for drug trafficking, that take place in Singapore

are very remote. I think the chances of success has vowed to try once again. But Alexander Downer I'm certainly proposing once more the Singapore Foreign Minister. to get in touch with has made its own appeal. The Opposition I think it is the right thing to do. there is hope. While there is still life, one last approach from the PM But Van Nguyen's lawyer believes could make a difference. If he were to simply say, this young man executed. "Australia does not want "He is deserving of clemency. "He has assisted the authorities. "He is an exceptional case, to execute him", and we do not want Singapore I think they'd take that seriously. John Howard isn't convinced. I am desperately sorry. If there's anything new, before the authorities, then we will put that want to raise false expectations. but if there's nothing new, I don't Van Nguyen's lawyer says to the Australian Federal Police he has provided detailed information

in Asia about heroin trafficking operations and would be willing to testify. he'll raise that The Foreign Minister says in Singapore. when he contacts his counterpart so much the government can do. The PM says there's only People have to understand

that when you go to another country against the laws of that country, and you commit a crime the laws of that country. you are punished according to hanged within four to six weeks Van Tuong Nguyen is expected to be if final appeals for mercy fail. Narda Gilmore, Lateline. has made landfall in Florida - Hurricane Wilma on its path of destruction the latest stop Cuba and Mexico. across the Carribean, The worst damage recorded so far of Cancun. is in the Mexican resort town has confirmed The Foreign Affairs Department in the area when the storm hit. that about 50 Australians were Tom Iggulden reports. reduced to rubble, With much of Cancun are still largely down. the city's communications

were evacuated These British tourists hurricane-proof hotel from their supposedly to a local technical college. sanitation and official help. They're short on food, this building, all the buildings, Every single person in just want to go home. get home. Anywhere, please just help us for food and fresh water, As locals and tourists alike queue of the power of the storm. memories were still fresh Seven, eight hours. and it was very terrifying. And the pounding of the wind -

I've been 25 years living in Cancun a hurricane like this. and never, never happened Among those caught in the maelstrom

Thomas Trevethan, was Australian chef who for the last three years in a luxury hotel in Cancun has worked and lived two children, Gizelle and Kieran. with his wife Amanda and their when the hurricane hit. His brother Fergus was visiting Back in Sydney, heard from them in almost a week. their mother Jennifer Wilson hasn't and her emails have gone unanswered. She can't get through on the phone they've sat it out in the hotel. In previous hurricanes, that it's so bad this time, However, I have heard has been evacuated, that that hotel, the Ritz Carlton, they've gone to from that hotel. though I don't know where The two generations of her family trapped by the storm. are among around 50 Australians As Lateline goes to air,

Australian consular officials are

making their way by road to Cancun.

We have a right to expect very

responses from our government. I We have a right to expect very quick

don't know why, if other people

managed to get in already, our don't know why, if other people have government hasn't. The Department says any Australians in the area, it has no serious concerns about Alexander Downer saying with Foreign Minister

responsible for their own safety. Australians had to be partly If you're worried about hurricanes overseas, don't go to hurricane zones. That's the best advice I can give. Don't blame the government. It's a view apparently shared by officials in the minister's department.

He went on to say to me that my

family only had themselves to blame,

and that they were given 24 hours'

notice, and they should've left

Cancun, and of course, I was - I

completely lost my temper, and I

said that it was an outrageous

comment to make to me, that five of

my family are unaccounted for, and

they had no hope of leaving Cancun,

they weren't there as tourists but

as resident, they've been living there for three years. The news was better for another Sydney family. Kate Davies got through to her son, Simon, in Cancun. He's alive and well and coming home.

I feel really tremendous. I haven't

slept for three nights but I'm

running on adrenaline at the moment

but I feel really great. As the Category 2 hurricane closed in on the Florida coast, locals there were dealing with things in their own way. As the Category 2 hurricane closed in on the Florida coast, locals there were dealing with things in their own way. Let's pray together. Let's pray particularly about the storm. Let's seek the Lord together. This is a great time to be in the house of the Lord.

Another tropical storm, named Alpha, has formed in the Caribbean, breaking the record for the most named storms in the Atlantic region in one season. Tom Iggulden, Lateline. France is the latest country to increase the poltical pressure on Syria following the release of the UN report into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

France wants the UN Security Council to demand full cooperation from Damascus in the investigation. That development comes as the first arrest linked to the investigation was reported in Lebanon. Norman Hermant reports.

This is just one indication of how

precarious things are in Lebanon.

precarious things are in Lebanon. As the country begins to act on the UN

report into Rafiq Hariri's

assassination. This, a not unusual

clash between militias outside a

Palestinian refugee camp. The

Lebanese army here looks on, but

doesn't interfere. Security

doesn't interfere. Security services have apparently been more

have apparently been more pro-active when it comes to following up the

when it comes to following up the UN investigation. A member of a

pro-Syrian Islamic group, alleged

pro-Syrian Islamic group, alleged to have phoned Lebanon's President

have phoned Lebanon's President just before the blast that killed Hariri,

has reportedly been arrested.

Demonstrators at Hariri's grave say

that should only be the beginning.

Without invailg the truth about the

assassination of Prime Minister

Rafiq Hariri, Lebanon will not be

able to rest, says this member of

Parliament. But Syria is eager to

show the world it, too, has

demonstrators. Tens of thousands of

them. State television aired these

images of a protest in Damascus

against the UN report. The

investigation implicated top Syrian

intelligence officials, including

the brother-in-law of President

Bashrr Assad. This weekend from

Damascus there was a steady stream

of denials. I think it's based on a

presumption that this assassination,

the assassination plot, would not

have been carried out without the

knowledge of the Syrian and

knowledge of the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services. And this is

just an allegation. But this week,

the allegations in the UN report

the allegations in the UN report are headed to the Security Council,

where Syria will face a

multi-pronged diplomatic offensive,

led by France, Britain and the US.

I called Secretary Rice this

morning, and instructed her to call

upon the United Nations to convene

upon the United Nations to convene a session as quickly as possible.

Despite its denials, Syria says it

will continue to cooperate with the

UN investigation. For President

Assad, facing the threat of

crippling sanction, the options are running out. The Deputy Prime Minister has launched a scathing attack on France, saying it will be responsible for keeping millions in poverty if it doesn't back down on trade tariffs. In a speech to the Sydney Institute tonight, Mark Vaile blamed France for undermining the current round of World Trade Organisation talks. Mr Vaile says the developing world will suffer unless France allows the European Union to make a significant effort to cut farm subsidies. They need to understand that they are threatening the future of global trade and cheating millions of the world's poor out of new hope. It's not enough for them to provide aid and debt relief when the benefits of liberating trade are so much greater. The European Union is expected to make its latest offer on reducing agricultural tariffs later this week. The Federal Government has confirmed its much anticipated industrial relations legislation will be introduced into Parliament next week and it's continuing to battle criticism over the timing of the Bill and parliamentary scrutiny of it. The ACTU says the new laws could well be tabled while Australians are celebrating the Melbourne Cup/ The Opposition says a 5-day Senate inquiry is too short and proves the government is trying to rush the legislation through. Rachel Carbonell reports. The Federal Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, is preparing for what he hopes is the home straight in the race to sell the Government's industrial relations legislation. We expect it'll be in Parliament in the week beginning October 31. Probably not on October 31, but maybe a couple of days later - in early November. It may not stop the nation, but the Australian Council of Trade Unions fears the introduction of the Bill could clash with the race that does. I suspect we should expect that it could get into the Parliament in the week that Australia is distracted by the Melbourne Cup. The Federal Opposition says the timing also means the Senate inquiry is now likely to be as short as five days. The Government is engaged here in a deliberate attempt to try and slide this extreme legislation through without any proper or effective scrutiny. The Government says most elements of the legislation have already been the subject of Senate inquiries and says there will be significant debate. The industrial relations legislation will be introduced into Parliament next week, but it certainly won't go through next week. There'll be some weeks of debate on the legislation before the final votes are taken. The ACTU also used today's confirmation of the timing of the legislation to attack the Prime Minister's comments that families could benefit from the IR reforms because the economy will be boosted. The Prime Minister is wrong and he must know it. The DEWR 2004 report shows

that 90% of individual contracts provide for no paid maternity leave, no paid paternity leave, no flexible leave in terms of being able to look after your children in the school holidays. But a spokesman for Mr Andrews says the same Department of Employment and Workplace Relations report shows that 70% of Australian Workplace Agreements have at least one provision relating to family leave or flexible working hours. The minister denies the reforms are radical and says he's still hopeful the states will come on board. The essential change which is in this proposal is to free up agreement making.

In effect, this is a further incremental step on that which was commenced by Paul Keating in 1993. The government won't reveal what day next week it plans to introduce the legislation to Parliament. Rachel Carbonell, Lateline. There's been further unrest in the English midlands city of Birmingham after weekend riots involving rival black and Asian gangs. One person was stabbed to death. Another died today after being shot. Dozens of others were injured in the weekend violence.

That violence was sparked by a rumour that a teenage girl had been raped. Europe correspondent Jane Hutcheon reports.

A second night of disturbances

rocked the Liselles area of

Birmingham. Gangs of youths

Birmingham. Gangs of youths gathered in response to an alleged attack on

a nearby mosque, but a heavy police

presence ensured there was no

presence ensured there was no repeat of the earlier violence. It began

of the earlier violence. It began on Saturday, after unconfirmed rumours

a young asylum seeker had been

raped. First, sporadic scuffles

broke out between rival gangs.

Several bystanders were caught up

unwittingly. I got hit with a brick,

once up here, yeah, and I told they

were going to kill me. And more was

to come. Riot police poured into

to come. Riot police poured into the city and soon they too became

targets. A small group of

individuals has sought to seek that

as an opportunity to perpetrate

their criminal behaviour, and that

may've reflected in the short burst

but quite extreme level of

incidents. As the night raged on,

dozens of local businesses were

ransacked, even the chip shop.

Community leaders have now called

for calm. Is where you got black

people and Asian people on the cusp

of a race war, that is the

difference between normal

difference between normal activities that happen in every single

community and what is happening

today. Local leaders have been

shocked at the ferocity of the

riots. They say it's not a true

representation of their

neighbourhood. Of a co Caribbeans

were once the ethnic majority in

these suburbs, but today, Asians,

mainly Pakistani families, are

dominant. Tensions have long

simmered beneath the surface.

It's to do with the actual business

side of things, and the of a co

Caribbean community feels that the

Asians are not respecting them.

Community leaders are out in force

to calm the hod hotheads while the late

latest tensions were soothed by

heavy rain dispersing the crowds.

For now there's calm, but the

tension remains. Now to tonight's guest. Dr Angela Ward is an Australian-born barrister working in Britain and Associate Professor of Law at Essex University. She's appeared as counsel in human rights cases at all levels of the UK courts, from magistrates through to the House of Lords. As such, she's expert in the Human Rights Act

which underpins Britain's anti-terror laws.

Since the Australian Government announced its plans to borrow from those British laws to create its own new anti-terror regime, Dr Ward has been examining the similarities

and the fundamental differences. So how do the two stack up against each other?

I spoke to her in our London studio just a short time ago.

Angela Ward, thanks for joining us. You're welcome, Tony. Now, Prime Minister Howard has acknowledged that the British anti-terror laws have influenced what he's proposing here in Australia. You've studied the two regimes. How similar are they, in fact? Well, there are some similarities and there are some differences but the key difference lies in the fact that the UK terror legislation is subject to review against our Human Rights Act, which implements both all of the United Kingdom's international obligations - or most of them, in any event - under the European Convention and imports proportionality review. That vests judges with powers to review conduct of the authorities that are really much broader than the Australian powers. So what I find most worrying about Mr Howard's assertions that the Australian legislation is just like the UK regime, it really only tells half the story because the UK legislation can't be read in a vacuum. Can you explain for us under what circumstances those safeguards, judicial safeguards built into the Human Rights Act are triggered? Well, it literally in all circumstances. We have a piece of overarching legislation here that is designed to ensure that all arms of government act proportionately. So, for example, let's take Mr Howard's proposal that a family member who tells anyone that another family member is subject to a detention order is going to be subjected to a five-year jail term. Now, there's two things about that. First of all,

we don't have that proposal here at all in the UK at the moment -

I haven't heard it mooted, either - so that's one substantial difference, if you like, in the two sets of legislation. But more importantly, perhaps, even if we did have that provision,

a judge would be obliged under the Human Rights Act

to first try and interpret that provision in conformity with the right to family life and various other elements of the Human Rights Act, and if the judge wasn't able to do that, the judge would have the power to issue a declaration of incompatibility and ask the Parliament to reconsider. An Australian judge, in comparison, will be disempowered. Australian judges don't have the authority to issue declarations of incompatibility for serious breach of human rights and breach of the principle of proportionality. Australian judges don't have the power to directly review legislation against Australia's international human rights obligations. So what you would see if that particular provision entered into force, you would see a really bald

and perhaps even crushing provision being imposed, leaving Australian judges with very little authority to temperate against what are probably the common community values of the Australian people. Let's look a little more at those tests as the British courts would apply them. They look to see if there have been

breaches of the principles of, as you say, proportionality and equality. How are those principles actually applied? What do they mean exactly? Sure. What the principle of proportionality means is that the government is entitled to do what is necessary to execute its legitimate aims and no more. So what a court will do, a court will first of all look at: is the aim being pursued legitimate?

National security is doubtlessly a legitimate aim. Secondly, has the government done more than is necessary in order to execute that goal and, in the process, have they breached an individual's fundamental rights? So the technical exercise that goes on here is that, first of all, the judge tries to interpret whatever the legislation is, including national security legislation, of the Human Rights Act,

in conformity with the principles of proportionality and in conformity with the principle of equality, which simply means that like cases have to be considered alike. If the judge can't do that, then what the judge will do is - or what the judge can do if the judge feels as if the Human Rights Act hasn't been complied with, the judge issues this declaration of incompatibility, which continues the political process, if you like, leaving the politicians to decide whether or not they want to do something to change the law. So the safeguards in the UK are very much more sophisticated and very much more highly developed, and the process that I've just described to you is a process that Australian judges at moment simply do not have the power to undertake. They sound a little vague, though, and, as you say, the judge must interpret them. Do they interpret them up the scale of different judicial courts, of different courts? I mean, does it in fact get appealed if one judge says these laws are proportional in relation to this case -

does it then go to appeal to a higher court? Oh, sure.

It's like any other legal provision in the sense that it's subject to appeal. So if one was running one of these types of cases over here, judicial review starts in what we call our High Court, which is our lowest administrative court, then there is a possibility of appeal to the Court of Appeal, there is a possibility of appeal to the House of Lords. Incidentally, if a human rights victim feels as if the House of Lords has got it wrong, there's still an entitlement

to make an application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. I take on board what you're saying about the vagueness. The principles that have been implemented into UK law are quite clear. There is the right to freedom of expression, there's the right to freedom of religion,

there's the prohibition on arbitrary detention, there's the right to family life, and there are a raft of others, and they are quite closely defined, if you like.

The scope, if you like, of the judge's interpretive powers is a topic of debate over here, but really the most important thing is that these safeguards are written in

and whenever there is a big judgment in the UK with the courts saying, "No, I'm sorry, "we think that this doesn't comply with the Human Rights Act", then a lot of publicity ensues. Community groups are able to contribute to the debate, and both the House of Commons and the House of Lords become exercised in the problem. And so a process - a democratic process, if you like - ensues. The problem with the way Mr Howard has cobbled together, if you like, this legislation is an attempt to ram through

a series of really quite draconian measures, and once they are through,

the courts going to have, in relative terms, in comparison with other democracies,

really very limited powers to do anything about it. Well, you will have read the COAG communique, signed by the Prime Minister and the State and Territory leaders. Now, it does call for safeguards like parliamentary and judicial review, and it says the laws should be proportionate. So it seems something like that could be built into the laws here? Well, see, what's happened in the draft that I've seen, that the ACT Chief Minister released, is that some safeguards have been written into some provisions.

So, for example, there are safeguards in the preventive detention regime to make sure that individuals aren't treated inhumanely and there is a form of proportionality review written in. But the problem is that's only one of a whole range of measures that's being proposed. There is no proportionality review applicable if a family member discloses to someone that another family member is in preventive detention. The Customs says That hasn't crept in. So to the extent to which COAG have said that they'd like this type of review to be available, at the moment it's only being dedicated to specific elements of the national security legislation and what's really needed is much broader legislative reform before the type of protection that COAG would like to see is actually going to be put in place. You've pointed out that one of the big differences between the two sets of Bills, the draft Bills in Australia and the British laws, is the secrecy in the preventive detention laws. You've described a sort of worst case scenario. Do you accept, though, that the police will be arguing that if there is an imminent terrorist act, they need secrecy in order to protect their own investigations. If, for example, they are looking into the activities of a terrorist cell,

they want to take out one member of that cell, question them but not let the others know about it? Sure. It's a very, very difficult equation. Now, the scenario that you have described, there are all sorts of powers that have been vested with ASIO in order to interrogate people. But what we're talking about here is preventive detention that goes on

for not insignificant periods of time. These are very, very difficult questions, but in a way, it's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

It's all about safeguards. Now, if proper safeguards are written in, then of course a judicial authority is going to respect the limits

of what is necessary in a democratic society,

but my concern is that the judiciary in Australia just simply don't have that authority at present. So as you've read the draft laws, there's no judicial framework for the safeguards that COAG is even talking about? There's piecemeal safeguards. As I say, the safeguards that COAG called for have been written into specific provisions, but there's no umbrella protection of the kind that we have over here in the UK. So to the extent to which the PM sort of gives out these assurances - "Don't worry what we're doing here "is exactly the same as what's going on in the UK" - that's really just not true. What about the Australian draft laws on sedition? How do they differ from the British version? Sure. At the moment, there are - the UK Government has released provisions that is going to limit the freedom of expression of individuals and relates to prohibitions on promoting terrorism and these kinds of things. So there is a new raft of legislation that limits what people can say, and human rights groups and other concerned groups have already expressed their concerns about that. I'd hasten to add that those measures will be balanced by the courts against the Article 10 Right to Freedom of Expression. What I've seen is that there are proposals in Australia to change sedition laws, which is a slightly sort of different area of the law, if you like. I haven't seen any attempt here in the UK or heard of any suggestion that the sedition laws are going to be changed. But there are these, if you like, much more pointed and much more specific rules that are being proposed that will limit the rights of people to support terrorism verbally. So if you like, it appears as if the two countries are going along two different paths. The Australians seem to be focusing on sedition at the moment, whereas a more specific legal regime is being proposed here. It has to be said that Tony Blair appears to feel somewhat hamstrung himself by the Human Rights Act. He's actually considering calling for amendments to that Act, and specifically in relation to deporting terrorist suspects or proven terrorists to countries where their lives may be in danger, in fact.

Yeah, that's right, and I'll just revert back to the point I made before. That's all part of the democratic process. Now, the reason he's proposing that is that under the Human Rights Act at the moment, it's going to are very difficult for the UK Government to deport anybody to a country where they're going to be exposed to inhuman and degrading treatment, and that's what the courts here have said and that's what the court in Strasbourg has said. So the politicians and, as you pointed out, in this case, Tony Blair, comes back and says, "We might need a legislative amendment to that." That's part of the democratic process, that's part of the democracy, that's part of working through to find a balanced solution to these problems. My concern is that, in Australia, because of the relatively muted roles of the courts, that process is going to be a little bit different and there's fewer opportunities for the courts to be involved in it. We'll have to leave you there. Angela Ward, thank you very much for taking the time to come and talk to us tonight. It was a pleasure. h e u y P i e M n s e and Trade Minister, Mark Vaile,

has defended a new computer system recently introduced to manage the nation's ports. Sydney's Port Botany is close to a standstill and freight industry operators predict all major ports could be gridlocked within days with the cost running into millions of dollars. But Mr Vaile says the new system is essential to upgrade national security. We have to got to show our bona fides in terms of our security. This is something we did among APEC countries. We agreed to the STARS proposal. Part of that is getting a lot of the developing countries onto electronic-based systems so it's not paper based anymore so there's security in trade flows. The Customs service is considering compensation on a case-by-case basis. To the markets now. The All Ords fell nearly 8 points today. Today BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were among the biggest losers. The big banks were stronger - ANZ improved 17 cents and the Commonwealth up 16. In the region, the Hang Seng and the Nikkei are both down.

In London the FTSE is ahead in early trading. On the commodities markets both gold and oil are weaker and the Australian dollar is currently trading at 74.83 US cents. Now to the weather. That's all for this evening. If you'd like to look back at tonight's interview or review any of Lateline's stories or transcripts, you can visit our website at: www.abc.net.au/lateline I'll be back tomorrow night, so please join me then. Goodnight. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.