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Haneef case highlights tension between arms of government

Haneef case highlights tension between arms of government

WHILE THE bungled case against Mohamed Haneef has been dropped, the Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Kevin Andrews, are accused of interfering with…

WHILE THE bungled case against Mohamed Haneef has been dropped, the Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Kevin Andrews, are accused of interfering with the authority of the courts and judicial independence.

In an interview with Lawyers Weekly, Ruddock denies it was improper to suggest the government may review the already tough anti-terror legislation following a court’s decision to grant Haneef bail. “That’s not critical of the judiciary or the judicial office, but what it is saying is that the Commonwealth can properly exercise its legislative function in the same way as the courts properly exercise the judicial function,” he said.

However, many within the legal profession disagree with the Attorney-General’s view.

The case demonstrates that the boundaries between judicial and executive power are far from clearly defined and further tensions will likely arise as both arms of government seek to guard the powers they consider their own.

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