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Australia continues to push new anti-terror measures

[JURIST] The Australian government is pushing forward with controversial anti-terror proposals [JURIST report] despite criticism that arrests [JURIST report] made earlier this week during a counter-terrorism swoop [BBC report] indicate the legislation is unnecessary. Although Parliament hastily approved an amendment [JURIST report] last week at the urging of Prime Minister John Howard to allow for the prosecution of suspects without identifying a specific terrorist act, local Muslim leaders and rights groups say that the arrests of 17 suspects in Melbourne and Sydney were made under existing legislation. The broader government proposals, set to go up for debate for the first time [Sydney Morning Herald report] in Parliament in Canberra Thursday, include shoot-to-kill provisions [JURIST report] and terms for preventive detentions and control orders [JURIST report]. Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] Wednesday again defended the proposed legislation [Radio 2GB transcript] by stating that it does not target any individual group, and is maintaining his commitment to passing the laws before Christmas [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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