Terrorism laws raise rights concerns

Serious concerns have been raised about national security legislation that could block the entry of Australian citizens suspected of being a terrorist threat.

If the Home Secretary reasonably suspects that an Australian may be involved in terrorist activity, a temporary exclusion order can be issued to prevent the Australian from returning home for up to two years.

Human Rights Commissioner Lorraine Finlay said orders should only be issued to those involved in terrorist activities.

She said the law had been used to target relatives and associates of Australian foreign combatants who may not have been involved in criminal activity.

“Australian citizens not involved in terrorism should not be barred from returning to Australia,” she told a parliamentary committee to review the law on Monday.

The Australian Human Rights Commission said other national security legislation could fill gaps in reducing the risk of terrorist activity by returning citizens.

This includes increased police surveillance and restrictions on those who may pose a risk to their communities.

Finlay also expressed concern about the minister making the decision, saying the court should make the order.

This provides additional protection and allows for legal review of your order.

Members of the Australian Legal Council, including former NSW Attorney General Lloyd Babb, agreed.

“It will give you confidence in your independence and the level of skill you need to balance rights and risks,” Babb said.

“Making this a management decision made a grave mistake.”

Justice Council’s David Neal said the information provided to the minister by the security services could be inaccurate and there would be no opportunity for review if there was an error in identity or judgment.

Having ministers predict the possibility of future crimes without proof of previous crimes also sounded alarm bells.

“This is the eternal dilemma of predicting the future,” Dr. Neal said.

Laws must be “necessary, reasonable and proportionate,” he said, and evidence in public records does not support how far-reaching the powers are.

“At this time, there is no evidence to justify this plan,” Dr. Neal said.

Terrorism laws raise rights concerns

Source link Terrorism laws raise rights concerns

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