Australian rights group says terror proposal could violate international obligations

Australian rights group says terror proposal could violate international obligations

[JURIST] The president of Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) [official website], a national independent statutory government body, cautioned Tuesday that the country's proposed new anti-terrorism measures [JURIST report] could violate human rights and said the legislation needed a time limit to ensuring periodic review of the terror law. John von Doussa [official profile] said Australia must be careful to protect human rights guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text] and that the covenant should only be violated in times of emergency, adding that the right to be free from torture and the right to life should never be violated. Von Doussa criticized the federal government's push to detain suspects for up to two weeks because the decision to detain would not be subject to judicial review by the High Court. He also called for a narrower definition of the newly created charge of "associating with terrorist organizations" and the inclusion of "sunset clauses, which will ensure that parliament periodically considers the measures afresh to ensure that they are still proportional to the threats of the time." AAP has local coverage. Read the HREOC press release.