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Australia AG insists that anti-terror proposals comply with rights obligations

[JURIST] Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official profile] has spoken out to disagree with assertions that the government's anti-terrorism bill violates human rights. The proposed anti-terrorism legislation [JURIST report; initial draft, PDF], which Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] claims will be enacted by Christmas [JURIST report], was tabled in Parliament Thursday after Howard won support earlier this week from several state and territory leaders. Alastair Nicholson, the former Chief Justice of the Family Court, has said that the laws would breach Australia's international treaty obligations, but Ruddock disagreed during an interview with ABC Australia's Lateline by saying, "Let me just make it very clear we have examined each and every one of these measures against our international obligations and they do not breach our international obligations." Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has also rejected the proposals [JURIST report] out of concern that some provisions would breach the country's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text]. Stanhope's opposition is based in part on advice [PDF text; JURIST report] from several international law experts. Australia's ABC News has local coverage.

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