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
Real Estate & Projects Lawyer (6+ years PAE)
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Top tier firm with offices nationally · High profile clients
View details
ABA criticises ‘dangerously broad’ new citizenship bill

ABA criticises ‘dangerously broad’ new citizenship bill

Fiona Mcleod ABA

The federal government’s final draft of its controversial citizenship legislation could unfairly extend to innocent Australians on humanitarian missions, the Australian Bar Association warns.

The government last week introduced the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill, which would allow dual citizens to be stripped of citizenship where they “act inconsistently with their allegiance to Australia”.

ABA president Fiona McLeod said the Bill was an improvement on previous proposals, but she remained “deeply troubled” at its scope.

“The new provisions expand significantly the circumstances in which citizenship is to be revoked,” Ms McLeod said. “Unwieldy provisions that will reach well beyond their intended purpose have replaced the former requirements of a criminal conviction for terrorism-related conduct.”

She warned that the legislation could be applied to people who had been acquitted, had committed only minor offences or who worked with terrorist organisations inadvertently or against their will.

“People who remain loyal to Australia, who are not a threat or have done no harm, such as those who work with humanitarian organisations providing food or medical aid in war-torn parts of the world, can be caught up and lose their Australian citizenship,” Ms McLeod said.

She also suggested the executive would be given excessive power, while court oversight was curtailed.

“The responsibility will fall upon public servants to determine, based on untested and undisclosed information, that certain trigger events have occurred and a person has, by their conduct, been forever stripped of citizenship,” she said.

“The Minister remains vested with an extraordinary power to give practical effect to the revocation and may act unilaterally, without regard to evidence of disloyalty or adverse security threat.”

As an alternative, she encouraged the government to provide for merits review by the courts of any citizenship decisions under the new provisions.

“Laws introduced in the name of security that erode some of our dearest freedoms and exclude judicial scrutiny must be carefully analysed, without undue haste, and the consequences of them clearly explained to all of us. Once done, they cannot easily be undone.”

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

ABA criticises ‘dangerously broad’ new citizenship bill
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
Applauds
Aug 21 2017
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
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 & ...