Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Terror laws may face legal challenge

Today's blog is similarly free from personal contribution. Today's age contained this article, which I found so interesting in its own right that I could not think of any very useful distillation or commentary for presentation here. Perhaps tomorrow I will provide a follow-up with my responses and criticisms from a philosophical perspective.

I have quoted the opening paragraphs for your interest.


"The federal government's planned anti-terror laws could be open to legal challenge that could collapse the entire package, legal experts say.

Judges and magistrates would be within their rights to argue that the legislation undermined the independence of the judiciary, constitutional lawyer John Williams said.

Dr Williams, of the Australian National University, believed a High Court challenge to the laws was almost inevitable.

"I could not see that this legislation could operate for long without a challenge being made," he told ABC radio today.

"Under the legislation, by concealing charges, by forcibly removing people, to holding them in camera, in so much as you're asking the judiciary to be involved either as individuals or as a court, you're asking them to undertake activities which are just wholly incompatible with what we understand the judicial process is.""


Anonymous Becky said...

As a philosopher/lawyer, I find that very interesting. New Zealand constitutional law is about as different from the Australian variety as possible, and I find the idea that legislation can be struck down for threatening the independence of the judciary odd.

In New Zealand, judges cannot strike down legislation at all. If they could though, I imagine we would let them do it if, for example, the legislation conflicted with fundamental human rights (which this anti-terror legislation arguably also does).

It will be interesting to see how and if this develops.

10/26/2005 12:11:00 PM  

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