Voicing CONCERNS about the Federal Government’s Anti-Terrorism Bill, Law Council of Australia president John North appeared before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee last week.
In an interview with Lawyers Weekly, North said while there was entrenched support for the Bill in Parliament, the Committee may be more open to hearing opposing arguments.
“The overwhelming problem with appearing before the Senate Committee is that everyone [in the Government and the Opposition] is hell-bent on introducing this legislation,” North said. “Fortunately, though, there are people on the Committee who still have an open mind.
“The Law Council’s fundamental submission is that the legislation is bad and open to constitutional attack, and the only way to fix it is to abandon it. You can introduce all the safeguards you want, but the fact is Australians are going to be arrested and detained even when there is insufficient evidence to prosecute them for a criminal offence.”
The Law Council has for months vehemently opposed the Government’s anti-terrorism provisions. It is particularly concerned about the proposed introduction of control and detention orders for terror suspects.