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Australia: Proposed new terror laws

Friday 23 November 2018, by siawi3


Australia: Not enough ’safeguards’ in proposed new terror laws: Law Council

Photo: Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton (left) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Source: AAP

The council says the federal government should explain why the current law is inadequate.

22.11.18 Updated 14 hours ago

By James Elton-Pym

The body representing the Australian legal profession has warned of overreach in the Morrison government’s proposed new terror laws, which would allow Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton to revoke someone’s citizenship and deport them for any terror offence as long as he was “reasonably” sure they were citizens of another nation.

The reform would change the current law, which allows citizenship to be stripped if a convicted terrorist gets more than 6 years in prison.

The Morrison government will attempt to rush through the laws in the two sitting weeks before Christmas.

The Law Council understands the importance of having effective counter-terrorism laws to keep Australians safe. However, at all times, these laws must be both necessary and proportionate,“Law Council president Morry Bailes said.”Measures to remove citizenship challenge key legal principles on which our democracy was founded, and therefore demand very careful consideration.“”The proposed automatic loss of citizenship and subsequent administrative action do not provide sufficient safeguards to accord with the rule of law, the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, and the right of appeal."

READ MORE: New laws will strip Australian extremists of citizenship

The council pointed out the current threshold for deportation, where the terrorist must be sentenced to more than six years in prison, had bipartisan support.

“The [official terror] threat level hasn’t changed since. Government must say why this bipartisan recommendation no longer represents what is a necessary and proportionate response to terrorism.”

Asked about the response on Nine’s Today show, prime minister Scott Morrison said “of course” the legal profession would be critical.

“They said I couldn’t turn back boats, and they said that wasn’t legal,” Mr Morrison said.

Revocation of citizenship has been reserved for dual-citizens to make sure Australia does not render a person stateless, as it has promised not to under international agreements.

“The current wording of the law, we believe is unrealistic,” Mr Morrison said.

“Terrorists have violated everything about being what an Australian is all about. It’s a crime against our country, not just other citizens,” he said.

The two major parties have a tradition of bipartisanship on national security matters, and Labor said it would consider the details of the plan through the cross-party Intelligence committee.

“Labor supported the changes to the Citizenship Act in 2015 which delivered existing powers to strip those convicted of certain terror offences of their Australian citizenship,” shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said.

“Labor always puts the safety of Australians first and approaches national security in a bipartisan manner. There is nothing more important than keeping Australians safe, and we will always listen to the advice of our security agencies on what they require to keep Australians safe.”



Government defends proposed terror laws, says indefinite detention an option

Video here 01:41 / 02:19

Foreign Minister Marise Payne says the proposed laws protect Australians from convicted terrorists.

Updated Updated 19 hours ago

Australian-born terrorists who are stripped of their citizenship could soon languish indefinitely in immigration detention if they can’t be kicked out of the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to be able to deport extremists if his government believes they may be entitled to citizenship in another country.

Video here 03:36

PM: Proposed laws aim to strip Australian extremists of citizenship

“If they are in a position not to be deported, they will remain in immigration detention,” Mr Morrison told the Seven Network on Friday.

“Their citizenship should go if you commit a terrorist act in Australia.”

Asked how the sweeping new powers would work if another country refused to take people back, the prime minister was vague.

“If they’re a citizen of that country, they have to take them back,” he said.

Photo: Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to be able to deport extremists.

Government says people won’t be left stateless

Attorney-General Christian Porter acknowledged some countries would refuse to take dual nationals back, but insisted Australia would not leave people stateless.

“We cannot force a country to repatriate someone and so there are instances where there are elongated stays in immigration detention,” he told reporters in Perth.

“But ultimately our first and foremost concern is not for the terrorist, it’s for the Australian public that we’re trying to protect.”

Video here 02:39

Dutton: Nine Australian citizenships revoked

Matter raised with Indonesia, Lebanon

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the new proposed terror laws have been discussed with Indonesia and Lebanon, countries where convicted terrorists may be deported back to once stripped of their Australian citizenship.

“We always communicate with our partners on key announcement and decisions of this nature,” she told reporters in Canberra.

"But the most important thing about these laws and the proposals is we have to introduce them to the Parliament is that they are about keeping Australians safe.

Read More
Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton (left) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Not enough ’safeguards’ in proposed new terror laws: Law Council

“Keeping Australians safe by changing the Citizenship Act so that dual citizens who are convicted of a terrorist offence in Australia lose their Australian citizenship irrespective of the sentence that they receive.”

She said if the home country refuses to take the convicted terrorist then the potential issue of stateless persons will be dealt with at that point in time.

“If there are issues with other countries, in terms of their preparedness to accept individuals, we’ll obviously on a case by case basis. They may be matters for negotiation with those countries,” she said.

“They may end up in immigration detention, self evidently. We’ll deal with those on a case by case basis.”
Law Council calls for more safeguards

The Law Council of Australia has warned attempts to strip terrorists of their citizenship could breach international obligations guarding against leaving people stateless.

Asked if he was concerned by the warning, Mr Morrison replied: “Nup.”

“Those who oppose these laws always say this,” he told the Nine Network.

Read More
Former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry dinner.
Former FBI head backs Dutton’s Australian model for tackling terrorism

“I dealt with that back when I was immigration minister and they said I couldn’t turn back boats and they said that wasn’t legal.”Well, they make all these claims, but what I do is I press on and I just get it done."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor would continue to work with the government on national security laws.

Mr Shorten said it was important to scrutinise any changes to make sure they would work and there were no unintended consequences.

“If we make sure that they’re effective, that they keep Australians safe, well then we’ll be up for the sensible debate,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“If you do a rush job, you can sometimes do a botched job. Let’s get it right.”

Read More
Three men accused of plotting a terrorist act in Melbourne have faced court after being arrested during raids.

Melbourne terror plot sparks debate about encryption laws

The new laws are aimed at revoking citizenship from dual nationals convicted of terror offences, regardless of the length of their sentence.

That would remove a current requirement that a person be sentenced to at least six years behind bars.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton could also strip Australian citizenship from a convicted terrorist if he is “reasonably satisfied” they were entitled to foreign citizenship in another country.

The government further wants to introduce “temporary exclusion orders” of up to two years for foreign fighters returning from the Middle East.

The proposed laws come in response to the deadly Bourke Street attack, and the Melbourne arrests of three Australian men of Turkish ancestry, who are accused of planning a terror event.



PM urged to reopen Christmas Island to create prison for terrorists
christmas island terrorists

The detention centre on Christmas Island, which some Liberal MPs want reopened to hold terrorists. Photo: Getty

Samantha Maiden

The Prime Minister is being urged to reopen the Christmas Island detention centre to detain terrorists, after raising the possibility of indefinite detention of radicalised Australians with the right to citizenship overseas.

But the indefinite detention of terrorists and terrorist sympathisers could pose new security challenges for immigration detention in Australia, with other MPs warning Australia must avoid the experience of Northern Ireland.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has already flagged that the government will pursue law changes to allow it to deport terrorists who do not hold dual citizenship but could be eligible to claim it if they applied.

Asked why any foreign country would accept the terrorists, Mr Morrison said if they did not Australia could detain the terrorists here.

“If we have a reasonable view that someone has citizenship – it may be by descent or they may have been born somewhere else – then we will be able to strip them of their Australian citizenship, and we’ll be able to have them deported back to the country from which they do have a citizenship,” he told Seven’s Sunrise on Friday.

“If they’re in a position not to be deported, they’ll remain in immigration detention.

“The point is, we’re not going to cop people who act contrary to what their citizenship has granted them and that is the freedom and the liberties that goes with that responsibility.

“Their citizenship should go if you commit a terrorist act in Australia,” he said.

The British Army had a policy of internment in Northern Ireland during “the troubles” from 1971 until December 1975. Nearly 2000 people were detained during that time, but the European Court of Human Rights. later described the interrogation tactics used as “torture”.

Australia’s detention centres already deal with large numbers of criminals as a result of the shift to detain asylum seekers who arrive by boat offshore.
terrorists christmas island

Their ranks include significant numbers of New Zealand bikies and criminals who are held in detention before being deported on character grounds.

On Friday, Liberal MP Jason Wood urged the PM to go further, admitting he was open to the idea of reopening the Christmas Island detention centre.

“Round them all up in jail and send them to Christmas Island, I don’t care where they put them. Then the young ones in jail for stealing a car don’t get recruited,” he told The New Daily exclusively.

“Number one, you want them to keep away from mainstream prisons. Then they become pretty much the dominant factions in prison.”

However, Mr Wood said what is urgently needed is domestic violence-style apprehended violence orders. They would allow police to step in early and stop young people from associating with radicals.

Mr Wood said he had been approached by parents who had said “we need your help, my son is being radicalised and the police can’t do anything”.

The former police officer said the 2014 death of 18-year-old Victorian Numan Haider, who was shot after he stabbed a police officer, was a reminder police never know when a terrorist sympathiser would “go off”.

“He was going down to Dandenong Plaza with an ISIS flag,” he said.

“There are 400 Numan Haiders out there and, given the right conditions, some of them will go off.”

Another Liberal MP, who declined to be named, backed the Christmas Island option.

“We could put them on Christmas Island. Bang them on Christmas Island. No reason why we couldn’t open it up again,” he said.

“Time and time again we’ve identified people with the potential for terrorist action. They get bailed and they go out and kill people.”

“Detention may have a bad smell to it but it’s better than people being killed in Bourke Street.”