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Many Australians (particulary Canberrans) will have known that the ACT Cheif Minister John Stanhope has recently posted the draft Australian Anti-Terrorisim laws on his website. This has provoked mixed responses, but I'm interested in yours.
Do you think the new laws are nessacary?
Are they dangerous?
Are they going to far?
Did Stanhope do the right thing?
And will the public just let this happen?
Cheif Minister Stanhope's webpage containing the draft laws, and an anylisis are here: http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au/whats_new.asp?title=What's%20New
My Opinion: Not good news. These laws contain such things as detention without trial, being held without charge, give ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) new powers that it doesn't want, being able to be placed under house arrest for a period of time with no charge, and being declared a terrorist simply becasue the Goverment veiws you so, or does not agree with you. These are just some of the contents of the document.
I personally am not happy about these laws (did you guess?), am proud of Stanhope for doing what he did. These laws take away some of the fundamental basics of our legal system and society, and once laws are in place they are hard to get rid of. Especially with a double majority Government.
But what do you say?
The link is broken.Originally Posted by Lord Yossanrion
But to reply to what you say here, I wouldn't be too upset just yet.
As long as these are temporary laws like some of the ones passed here in the U.S. (for Homeland Security) that come up for for a new vote every few years then I wouldn't worry too much.
Last edited by Kahoolin; October 25th, 2005 at 01:40.
Strangely enough I don't have an opinion on this one. I am genuinely in two minds.
I just heard this morning Howard (our prime minister) is going to try to push his "shoot-to-kill" laws through. I honestly don't know whether I think this is a good idea, allowing police to shoot-to-kill suspected terrorists if they judge a danger to the public to be present. As far as I can see:
1: We are technically at war (although a pretty odd one), and in war our ordinary morals have to be modified. If killing one guy saves 300 then you have to allow the police to shoot that one guy.
1: The only time anyone has put a law like this into practice was in England and they shot a guy who wasn't a terrorist.
2: Some would argue we have already lost the war if we lose one of the basic tenets of Australian society, ie that citizens (even criminals) can walk around without having to be worried that they can be shot without warning by the police.
3: Most terrorists in Australia are going to be white wackos like David Hicks. There aren't going to be any easy-to-spot arab terrorists. How do you pick one white guy out of a crowd and kill him before he can set off a bomb? Seems to me there could easily be alot of "mistakes" like in the UK.
4: Either that or they will be asians, eg Malaysians or Indonesians. There are a great many asian-Australians. How do you pick one asian guy out of a crowd and kill him before he can set off a bomb? Seems to me there could easily be alot of "mistakes" like in the UK.
While the cons outnumber the pros, that's one pretty big pro we got there. I honestly don't know what to think :huh:
Last edited by Kahoolin; October 21st, 2005 at 06:08.
I don't know if it's good or bad, myself. While, technically, I'd like to see a state with as few powers over its citizens as is reasonably possible, I can certainly see why increased social control is quite attractive to people. Maybe we do need to think more realistically about security issues in a modern state, but..
I'm not convinced the world situation today is that different to the way it was before. For example, I live in the UK. In the 1980s, there was a series of major bombings by Irish Republicans, yet the government then didn't see the need for such measures as detention without trial, etc. (Admittedly, they did rush people through trial instead, and consequentially made mistakes.)
I don't quite see why the emergence of another terrorist ideology suddenly justifies extreme changes to the law, which circumvent many of the safeguards keeping democracy in Britain (and, from what little I know, Australia as well) functioning.
The main thing I genuinely can't understand is detention without trial. Surely, in order to arrest someone, you must have some evidence against them, so why can't that evidence be shown to the 'public' in a court of law? If the evidence isn't sound enough to secure conviction, why is it sound enough to lock someone up on? I don't think any government has the right to withold information of that nature. Detaining people on the basis of secret evidence is something which, historically, Western governments have disapproved of, but now we're doing it ourselves. If the trend continues, I don't like where it could lead.
As Yossarian also suggested, we also have to look at the definition of a terrorist. Nelson Mandella, for example, was once convicted and jailed for terrorism for opposing the extremely nasty regieme in South Africa.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; October 24th, 2005 at 17:16.
Thanks for the Opinions fellas.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Australia needs anti-terror laws. There are a few things I don't like in these, especially relating to not being able to tell people you've been interviewed by ASIO, or police not having to explain why they've just killed someone, but most of it is quite good. I'm just annoyed at how secret the government was about them.
Yeah. Hooray for John Stanhope!I'm just annoyed at how secret the government was about them.
Sieriously, it can't be too bad, but like you said, being unable to tell people that you've been intreviewed, or giving ASIO even more powers (that they said they didn't want/need) is bad.
The entier thing just reminds me of the U.S Patriot act. I think we do need anti terror laws, but perhaps not so extreme. I did find it *slightly* humourous that, were you detained by ASIO you were not allowed to tell relatives about it. I wonder if they would notice that their son/brother/husband was missing for several days/weeks. And when you got back and they asked for an explanation what would you say?
Maybe they give you a sweet cover story.
"I got kidnapped by ninjas, but then after a week I wriggled out of my chains and I totally kicked the ninjas asses and then I hitch-hiked home."
Or maybe you just say "Yeah hi mum, I uh, WASN'T detained by ASIO for three weeks "