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Australia court hears constitutional challenge to national security law

[JURIST] Australian anti-terror laws force courts to close off too much information to the public and prevent fair trials, a group of media organizations argued Tuesday before the New South Wales Supreme Court [official website] in the first constitutional challenge to the federal government's anti-terrorism laws. According to a lawyer for the media groups, the National Security Information Act [text] would create chaos in cases as courts attempted to decide the issue of what information could not be publicly released due to security concerns. The groups have challenged the constitutionality [SMH report] of the law because it does not balance national security concerns against the right to a fair trial and improperly intrudes on the division of power between the executive and the judiciary. The challenge is expected to delay proceedings in the trial of Faheem Khalid Lodhi, who faces terror charges [SMH report] for allegedly plotting to bomb various electrical supply and military sites in the country. From Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald has more.

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