find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Free rein for A-G on anti-terror powers

Free rein for A-G on anti-terror powers

NEWLY PROPOSED proscriptive powers could be a carte-blanche for the federal Attorney General to ban organisations with suspected terrorist links, and they are being waved through by Labor,…

NEWLY PROPOSED proscriptive powers could be a carte-blanche for the federal Attorney General to ban organisations with suspected terrorist links, and they are being waved through by Labor, despite having at least a few other parties up in arms.

Under the new laws, contained in the Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisation) Bill 2003, Philip Ruddock will be able to act on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), and proscribe any party or group as a terrorist organisation provided he is “satisfied on reasonable grounds that the organisation is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act.”

Ruddock was not a grateful recipient of his newly found free-rein, however, and berated the Opposition for prolonging the proceedings for so long after parliament had twice rejected the Bill.

“In the national interest, this measure should have been in place two years ago,” Ruddock told parliament.

The Opposition had finally dropped its demand that a ban be approved by parliament, a court or tribunal first. However, its amendments did ensure the federal Opposition, state and territory leaders would be consulted before an organisation was banished for suspected terrorism.

Under the proposed changes, banned organisations will be allowed to appeal to the Federal Court and all listings will expire after two years. But the Australian Democrats, Greens and the Australian Law Council still tagged the new developments dangerous.

The Law Council argued even the Labor amendments did not satisfy concerns about the misuse of power. In a letter to all major political parties, the Law Council argued it was dangerous for the Government to have largely unfettered powers to proscribe organisations with alleged terrorist links.

While admitting the Government had a responsibility to protect community safety, Law Council president Bob Gotterson QC said the nature of the new powers “commands some level of ‘front end’ supervision by the courts”.

The fact that judicial review would be only allowed once the Government made a decision also concerned the Law Council, which suggested an affected member would have to make an application for judicial review after their organisation was banned, thus placing them in jeopardy of prosecution should their application fail.

Proposing instead that the Government have the power to proscribe an organisation for a limited period, such as 30 days, with any extension of the period then subject to court discretion, Gotterson said this would “account for compelling and urgent cases which required immediate action”. This would also retain some level of judicial supervision over the exercise of the powers, he said.

Greens Senator Bob Brown also criticised Labor for caving in to the government’s national security agenda in the lead up to the election, adding the A-G was “flagging even more draconian bills in an election year being geared to manufacture fear”.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Free rein for A-G on anti-terror powers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Dec 18 2017
Summer in the city
Across Australia, a number of law students have kicked off their commercial law aspirations with the...
microscope
Dec 18 2017
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
Dec 18 2017
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
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 & ...