Civil liberties have been a casualty of the ill-conceived law changes rushed through parliament in the wake of the 2005 London bombings, Australian Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said today.
Echoing the submissions to the current review of counter-terrorism laws by the Law Council of Australia and other respected legal commentators, Senator Wright has called for the repeal of the preventative detention laws and other provisions that are contrary to established principles of fairness.
"These laws represented a serious shift away from fundamental protections for citizens that we have always held dear, and were rushed through the parliament in unseemly haste. At the time there were many legal commentators warning that they had gone too far," Senator Wright said.
"This review is overdue. We need to re-establish the balance between protecting Australians from the risk of terrorism and protecting Australians from excessive and unfair action against them, contrary to longstanding legal principles.
"Of course effective counter-terrorism laws are necessary but we must ensure that they are not so draconian that they undermine the very nature of the democracy we are seeking to protect.
"While these laws remain on the books, they have the potential to compromise the fundamental legal protections that we have considered intrinsic to democracy.
"The Greens urge the review to heed the serious concerns consistently raised by the legal community and develop recommendations which will enhance the effectiveness of our counter-terrorism laws while better protecting human rights."