Australian lawyers group slams state anti-terrorism powers

[JURIST] The president of Australia's Law Council [official website], the official voice of lawyers throughout Australia, criticized wide-ranging anti-terrorism powers granted to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation [government website] in testimony Monday before an Australian parliamentary committee. The ASIO has the power to detain individuals for up to a week without having to file a criminal charge and can question individuals for periods as long as 24 consecutive hours. Council head John North [official profile] warned that the powers given to the ASIO are too extreme and represent a breach of necessary civil and human rights traditionally respected in Australia. He urged that if the Australian Parliament [government website] found it necessary to keep the anti-terrorism legislation in place, that the powers be given to the Australian Crime Commission [government website] instead and that the procedures follow already-established guidelines for criminal detentions. Read the official Law Council press release. Australia's Daily Telegraph has local coverage.



 

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