find the latest legal job
Inhouse Legal Counsel -18 months-4 PAE - Real Estate Investment Company
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· In brand new prestigious CBD offices
View details
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
Justice delayed is justice denied

Justice delayed is justice denied

Editor,The legal profession should continue to be dismayed at Australia’s inaction over the plight of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks.For more than four-and-a-half years, the now 31-year-old…


The legal profession should continue to be dismayed at Australia’s inaction over the plight of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks.

For more than four-and-a-half years, the now 31-year-old has languished in detention, in what his lawyers and family have described as harsh and often inhumane conditions.

Despite pleas from organisations such as the Law Council of Australia for Mr Hicks’ case to be resolved expeditiously and fairly, the Federal Government has continued to bury its head in the sand over the issue.

So ineffective has his own Government been, Mr Hicks has in recent months been forced to turn to Britain for assistance in resolving his lawful status.

In May, the British Court of Appeal ruled that Mr Hicks was entitled to have British citizenship. Once citizenship formalities have been resolved the way should be paved for him to invite the British Government to follow its own precedent and make representations to the US for his release.

It’s an absolute travesty that Mr Hicks has been forced to take this route simply because the Australian Government has seemingly washed its hands of his fate.

What is worse, though, is that fact that Australian authorities are doing nothing to step in and help facilitate the citizenship process. Given Mr Hicks has spent so long in detention, this seems the least that the Australian Government can do.

The Law Council recently met with UK Attorney-General Lord Goldsmith, urging the British Government to move swiftly to process Mr Hicks’ citizenship and possible shot at freedom.

This avenue out of Guantanamo Bay was also discussed when the Law Council recently met Mr Hicks’ military appointed lawyer, Major Michael Mori, at its Secretariat in Canberra.

The Law Council has no view of Mr Hicks’ innocence or guilt of any offence. That is not the issue.

The issue is the length of time he has been forced to spend in legal limbo. After spending so long behind the razor wire in Cuba, it is simply not possible for Mr Hicks to receive a fair trial, even in a properly constituted court, let alone a deeply flawed military commission

In November, it will be five years since this “misguided kid” from Adelaide was captured in Afghanistan by the Northern Alliance. Five years is an awfully long time to sit behind bars not knowing your fate and without the protection of law.

The Law Council has said in the past that “justice delayed is justice denied”. No human being should be denied justice. The Australian Government needs to be reminded of that.

John North


Law Council of Australia

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

Justice delayed is justice denied
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Animal law moots, advocacy, Melbourne University, Australia and New Zealand Intervarsity Moot on Animal Law
Sep 25 2017
Moot unleashes animal advocacy
Melbourne has played host to one of the largest animal law moots, with student participants put th...
Sep 25 2017
Transgender teens should not need legal approval for hormone treatment, court hears
A transgender 17-year-old known as Kelvin has appealed in the Family Court against the requirement o...
Appointed, Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
Sep 25 2017
NFP CEO appointed Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
The CEO of a Victorian not-for profit pro bono legal services provider has been named as the state...
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'...
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...
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 & ...