Casualties of the Domestic ‘War on Terror’: A Review of Recent Counter-Terrorism Laws
20 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018
Date Written: 2004
This article reviews three recent counter-terrorism laws, namely, the Criminal Code Amendment (Hamas and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba) Act 2003 (Cth), the ASIO Legislation Amendment Act 2003 (Cth) and the Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Act 2004 (Cth). It contends that these laws demonstrate that the domestic 'War on Terror' has inflicted casualties in two ways. First, these laws have undermined the democratic process of law-making. This has occurred because the Criminal Code Amendment (Hamas and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba) Act 2003 (Cth) and the ASIO Legislation Amendment Act 2003 (Cth) have each been passed with indecent haste. Moreover, the justifications for all three pieces of legislation have been riddled with serious misrepresentations. Second, the adverse impact of these laws travels beyond the democratic process of law-making. Separately and collectively, these laws stifle public discussion, implicitly sanction lawlessness by ASIO and confer arbitrary power upon the executive. More than this, they also undermine efforts to prevent extreme acts of ideological or religious violence.
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