find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Human rights under threat

Human rights under threat

Human rights are set to be breached by security measures outlined in the Government's Counter Terrorism White Paper, leading lawyers say._x000D_

INCREASED security measures outlined in the Government’s Counter Terrorism White Paper could potentially breach human rights according to lawyers involved in several high profile national security cases.


Maurice Blackburn lawyer Elizabeth O’Shea says that the White Paper falls short of the safeguards needed on questions of national security. Maurice Blackburn represented peace activist Scott Parkin and is assisting Dr Mohamed Haneef in his claim for compensation for wrongful detention.


“Some of the Government’s comments are alarmist and miss the mark,” said O’Shea, who specialises in public interest litigation.


“There is far too little discussion about why our law enforcement and security agencies need greater powers and this has the potential to undermine human rights and democratic principles. There is already concern that people can be detained without charge for 14 days.


“The measures could invite fear of outsiders, undermine the strength of our democracy and lead to government agencies operating like they are above the law.”


O’Shea said Australia’s legal system has long had a range of measures to deal with criminal acts or threats of terrorism, and the introduction of new more complex measures can make it less likely that laws will operate effectively and make it harder to investigate possible miscarriages of justice.


“The cases of Scott Parkin, Mohamed Haneef and others represented by Maurice Blackburn are a reminder that anti-terrorism laws can breach basic human rights,” she said.


In 2005, Parkin along with two asylum seekers, Mohammed Sagar and Mohammad Faisal were given adverse security assessments by ASIO and Parkin was removed from the country and given a bill of over $11,000 for the costs of his deportation.


Mohammed Sagar was accepted as a refugee in Sweden and Mohammad Faisal was eventually accepted as a refugee in Australia, passing subsequent security assessments without a problem.


“Five years later and at immense cost and inconvenience to the parties concerned, we still have no explanation from ASIO why these men were considered threats to national security. Dr Haneef is still awaiting compensation for his wrongful detention.


None of these men were charged with a crime, the firm said.


The Counter-Terrorism White Paper refers to the Clarke Inquiry into the case of Dr Haneef and the measures that have been implemented as a result but it is not clear what safeguards have been put in place to prevent another wrongful detention.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Human rights under threat
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...