"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Leaving out the good stuff

Dear Madam,
A possible addendum to yesterday's article on the delay in passing Australian anti-terror laws; "Prime Minister John Howard rejects suggestions that his announcement of a possible terrorist threat is conveniently timed so as to avoid closer examination of laws, explaining "It is purely coincidental.""
yours etc...

Australian anti-terror laws delay

AUSTRALIA: Australian state leaders have held up the introduction of tough new counter-terror laws in parliament, saying they had concerns that the legislation threatened civil liberties and could breach the constitution.

The government needs the support of the eight states and territories - all governed by the opposition Labour Party - to enforce the new laws, which include jailing terror suspects without charge for up to two weeks and fitting them with electronic tracking devices.

Under the constitution, only state governments can allow suspects to be held longer than two days without charge.

State leaders in September gave unanimous support to a broad outline of the package, but rejected an initial draft of the legislation and were considering a second draft. Among their concerns were that judges would authorise detention orders, a move critics say overstepped the role of the judiciary.

© The Irish Times © AP