Australian House passes terror law without amendment

[JURIST] The Australian House of Representatives [official website] passed the federal government's anti-terrorism bill [text; JURIST news archive] Monday night, without amendments requested [text] by a coalition Senate committee and by members of the Labor Party. The committee recommended [JURIST report] Monday that a controversial sedition section be removed from the final draft and the sunset clause reduced to five years. Lawyers and academics have cautioned that the strict sedition provisions may restrict free speech and artistic expression and may be applied to legitimate journalists and cartoonists. Other amendments proposed [party national security plan, PDF] by the Labor Party [party website] that were not part of the House version included criticism of the government's record on transportation security, a call for human rights safeguards, and the establishment of a department of homeland security and a coast guard. The legislation will now be sent to the Senate for debate on Wednesday. The Sydney Morning Herald has more.

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