Terrorism legislation in Australia

Essay by kate123High School, 12th gradeA, August 2008

download word file, 17 pages 2.5

1.0Introduction1.1.Topic Terrorism legislation.

1.2.Issue While the Federal government has a responsibility to ensure Australians are safe from terrorism threats, it must be debated whether Australian's human and civil rights are being compromised through the introduction of the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005.

1.3. Background Since America's iconic World Trade Centres were bombed in 2001 and the 2002 attack on a Bali nightclub killing 88 Australians occurred, there has been the constant threat of terrorist activity in Australia. This threat was further increased through a statement broadcasted by Osama Bid Laden declaring Australia would be bombed next due to its alliance with America (The Courier Mail. 2002). However it was only until after the London bombings in July 2005 that any actions were made to strengthen Australia's national security legislation. On the 27th of September 2005, the Prime Minister, John Howard, announced through a joint press release the introduction of various reforms and new legislation concerning Australian's defense against possible terrorist attacks.

(For press release transcript see Appendix 1)However, many of these new reforms and legislation have prompted controversy to whether they infringe human and civil rights. Although various human and civil rights are stated in Australia's constitution, Australia is one of the few western countries not to have their own Bill of Rights. Therefore it is difficult to establish to what degree the new laws do affect Australian's rights. The new reforms include amendments to the definition of terrorism, a broader list of activities defined as terrorism and greater search and questioning powers given to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO). The right to legal representation, the right to remain silence and the presumption of innocent until proven guilty has been some of the rights many claim to have been compromised as a result of the new laws. (Australian...