find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Infrastructure Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Perth WA
· We'd be particularly interested to hear from you if you were a lawyer who knows your way around the infrastructure and energy sectors.
View details
Still doubt over justice for Hicks

Still doubt over justice for Hicks

THE NATIONAL body representing Australia’s legal profession has questioned whether Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks could ever receive justice under the military commission…

THE NATIONAL body representing Australia’s legal profession has questioned whether Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks could ever receive justice under the military commission process.

The Law Council of Australia said it was relieved that charges had finally been laid against Hicks, despite its being two and a half years since he was first placed in the US detention centre in Cuba.

Hicks’ charging has taken too long, according to president of the Law Council, Bob Gotterson. “It is appalling that [Hicks] has been confined to non-reviewable detention for two and a half years and now faces trial in a system which has very serious shortcomings.”

Military commission trials leave detainees at the mercy of executive government, the Law Council said.

This allowed them to be incarcerated even if they were acquitted or served out their sentence, it said. Verdicts could only be appealed to the US president, there are no independent judges, and the rules of evidence do not apply.

The Law Council believed the military commission was an unnecessary and inferior substitute for a normal court martial, Gotterson said. “However, it is clear that this is the manner in which US authorities intend to proceed.”

The US Department of Defense announced recently that Hicks had been charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes, attempted murder by an unprivileged belligerent, and aiding the enemy. Hicks’ military lawyer indicated publicly that Hicks would plead not guilty to the charges.

Gotterson said we should keep in mind that there was a US Supreme Court decision due in “a matter of weeks” in a case brought by Hicks and other detainees. This decision, Gotterson claimed, “could open the way to challenge the legality of their detention before a military commission trial even proceeds”.

Shadow Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said Labor welcomed the charges being laid against Hicks. However, she urged the Australian Government to “actively ensure that the trial process is fair”.

Labour has maintained that if Hicks has committed a crime, then he should be brought to justice, Roxon told media. However, the party objected to the lengthy detention without charge of Australian citizens.

The Government needed to ensure that the process from now on was open, independent and met the proper standards of criminal justice, Roxon said.

“The Government now has a responsibility to ensure that [Hicks] receives a fair trial, and uses more pressure than it has to date to guarantee Australian citizens fair and just processes,” Roxon stated. “Australia should expect from its closest ally that the trial will be conducted fairly.”

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

Still doubt over justice for Hicks
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Violence
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
Nov 16 2017
From lawyer in law firm to senior governance professional
Promoted by Governance Institute of Australia As a law graduate, Kate Griffiths never imagined...
marriage equality
Nov 16 2017
Legislation the next hurdle for marriage equality
Lawyers have underscored the importance of ensuring same-sex marriage legislation does not limit ant...
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 & ...