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Australian Senate passes amendment to allow easier prosecution of terror suspects

[JURIST] The Australian Senate [official website] on Thursday hurriedly passed an amendment [JURIST report] to the country's current counter-terrorism legislation the day after Prime Minister John Howard warned of a credible terror attack. Responding to the threat, Howard proposed an amendment to allow prosecution without identifying a specific terrorist act [press release], instead of having to wait until investigators have specific details of alleged attacks. Critics of the legislation, passed in the House of Representatives [official website] Wednesday, believe Howard's undetailed warning about the potential attack was used to push through this legislation, which many believe threatens civil liberties. Another package of new legislation [JURIST report] was introduced to parliament Thursday is expected to pass later this month. The new anti-terror proposals will allow authorities to secretly detain those with knowledge of terrorist activity for up to two weeks without charge. AFP has more.

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