Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Rape of Free Speech

MelbournePhilosopher

I'm writing this entry in response to the story shown here : http://theage.com.au/articles/2004/09/18/1095394059820.html ... I'll quote a few snippets.
The whole article is worth reading, and it only gets worse. Let me just say now - insofar as it is available to me - I stand against this.




Police set to override right to silence
By Jason Dowling
September 19, 2004
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Liberty Victoria and the Criminal Bar Association have expressed alarm and disappointment at new legislation that will give Victoria Police coercive questioning powers and remove an individual's right to silence.

While royal commissions and the Australian Crime Commission have previously been granted the extreme powers, it is understood that Victoria Police will be the first state police body in Australia to have them.

"This is a radical departure from fundamental liberties," Brian Walters, SC, vice-president of Liberty Victoria, said. He added that the struggle against organised crime in the context of the gangland war was being used as a Trojan horse by police to gain massive new powers.

Under the legislation, which will be detailed by the Government during the next sitting of Parliament, Victoria Police are expected to be granted the power to compel individuals to answer questions or face prosecution.

The Government will not say if the person will be permitted to have a lawyer present and it is expected there will be no time limit on the interrogations.

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