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Australia limits publication of proposed anti-terror bill after draft leak

[JURIST] Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Jon Stanhope [official website] has said the federal government is excluding him from consulting on the next draft of anti-terrorism proposals after Stanhope leaked a draft of the bill [JURIST report; PDF text] last week. Stanhope received an email from Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] saying the ACT will not receive a copy of the new draft and electronic distribution of it will be forbidden. Howard has defended the law [JURIST report] from critics who reacted strongly to the leak, denying that it attacks civil liberties. Stanhope called the move "childish" and a direct breach of an intergovernmental agreement. Australia's ABC News has more.

2:01 PM ET - Prime Minister John Howard said Friday that Stanhope, despite his "discourteous" actions, will receive all versions of the proposed legislation. Howard said that he wants the agreement of all governments and that "there is no purpose served... in the people of the ACT being treated with the discourtesy that Mr Stanhope displayed towards his fellow leaders." ABC has more.

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