Fair Enough? The National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004
Posted: 26 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 25, 2012
The need to combat terrorism has resulted in a need for changes to the legal process to take account of the realities of national security. One important change has been the introduction of legislation to govern the disclosure of national security-sensitive information to participants in legal proceedings. This, of course, raises a number of issues including concerns about ensuring fairness to the participants. This article considers whether the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 is consistent with the right to a fair trial found in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Australia is a party. The conclusion is that the legislation is consistent with that right.
Keywords: fair trial, right to a fair trial, national security, terrorism, human rights, secret trials
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