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Abbott’s citizenship laws more about posturing than protection

Media Release
Penny Wright 23 Jun 2015

The Australian Greens say the Abbott Government's citizenship laws outlined today are a cynical attempt to bypass the courts yet again, but will not make Australians any safer.

Spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright said the Prime Minister had made it clear the power to determine who would lose citizenship still rested with the Immigration Minister, who would decide which terrorist organisations are proscribed under the Citizenship Act.

"Using terms like "automatic" and "self-executing" is a way of hiding the fact that these laws will still need a decision about whether conduct has occurred, and that decision will not be made by a court," Senator Wright said.

"In fact, it will still be up to a Minister of the Abbott Government to decide who is a terrorist and who is not, and who is a citizen and who is not.

"Under the laws announced today, citizenship can be revoked without trial and there are only very limited and hollow review rights.

"It has to raise very serious questions about the motivations of any government that tries to bypass the courts.

"There is no evidence to suggest this proposal will actually work as a deterrent. In fact, it presumes that the whole raft of Foreign Fighters legislation has been a failure.

"Terror experts have been clear the citizenship laws will not make Australians any safer or do anything to combat Islamic State. It is just political posturing by a Prime Minister more concerned about the polls than the protection of Australians."

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