Australian PM wins support for anti-terror proposals

[JURIST] Australia's proposed anti-terrorism laws [JURIST report; initial draft, PDF] were backed Wednesday by four of the country's state and territory leaders, ensuring that Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] has enough support to introduce the proposals to the federal Parliament. The premiers of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia have given their support to the proposed laws; Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has given in-principle support to the proposals, though has indicated that the legislation's sunset clause should take effect in 10 years. Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Jon Stanhope [official website], who last week became the first state or territory leader to reject [JURIST report] the federal government's proposed anti-terrorism legislation, Wednesday once again excluded himself from any further negotiations [ABC Australia report]. Stanhope has refused to give his support without knowing Howard's background legal reasoning for drafting of the bill. The proposals have been criticized for the inclusion of shoot-to-kill provisions [JURIST report], which could potentially lead to incorrect identification and subsequent wrongful shootings, and provisions on preventative detentions and control orders [JURIST report]. New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma said that his backing of the proposal was prompted by a guarantee of judicial review of detention orders, and Victorian Premier Steve Bracks gave his support after shoot-to-kill provisions were dropped. Howard intends Australia's anti-terrorism legislation to be law by the end of the year and has committed to passing the laws before Christmas [JURIST report]. Australia's ABC News has more.



 

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