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No-warrant terrorism raids proposed in OZ

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posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 08:53 AM
The Australian Government wants to "undermine the judicial safeguards" that exists to protect innocent Australian. Police are set to get a no-warrent needed to arrest people & raid their houses in regards to alledged terrorism.
Is this just the next step on a very dangerous slippery slope, where police can do no warrant arrests on people for minor things having nothing to do with terrorism?

No-warrant terrorism raids proposed
The Federal Government has unveiled plans to toughen its counter-terrorism laws, including a change to allow police to break into a suspect's home without getting approval from a judge.
It also wants to make it easier to stop suspects getting out of jail on bail.
But the Government is planning to put a cap on the amount of time suspects can be held without charge.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland says the tougher laws would protect Australians.
"The Government is committed to ensuring the focus of Australia's national security and counter-terrorism laws remains on preventing a terrorist attack from occurring in the first place," he said.
But some argue toughening the laws would have the opposite effect.
Nicola McGarrity from the Terrorism Law Project at the University of New South Wales says the laws could take away the protection of the judiciary.
"It's fundamentally undermining the safeguards that exist," she said.
"It's taking away the protection of having a judicial officer make a warrant."
But new limits will be imposed on other controversial powers.
In the case of Dr Mohammed Haneef, who was detained in 2007, police were allowed to question him without charging him for a total of one day.
The clock stops ticking, however, when the suspect goes to sleep or the police need time to check with agencies overseas.
In the end, Dr Haneef was held for 12 days without charge before a magistrate ordered his release.
So Mr McClelland says the Government is planning to introduce an eight-day limit.
"To enable the law enforcement authorities to have that time and balance it against the rights of individuals - that we would hope our society cherishes - and that is the right not to be detained without charge," he said.
But legal analysts, including Ms McGarrity, argue that eight days is still too much time and that the detainment period should be capped at three days.
"What normally happens with police is they exercise those powers up to the extent of those powers," she said.
The Government also wants to press ahead with controversial plans to make it a crime to urge attacks on someone based on their nationality or religion.
The Attorney-General says he has seen intelligence and phone tap logs that back the need for this law.
Mr McClelland says it is the kind of law that could have been used against people involved in attacks on Indian students if nationality, race or religion was the driving force.
Another proposal in the discussion paper released on Wednesday was to make terrorism hoaxes punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The naming of a terrorist organisation would also stay current for three years, instead of one, before expiring, the paper said.
The public has until September 25 to comment on the discussion paper.
But the Shadow Attorney-General, George Brandis, says he is sceptical about the Government's level of commitment to national security.
"In the last budget, for example, the Australian Federal Police's counter-terrorism program was scaled back by $1.4 million," he said.
"The AFP's intelligence programs were scaled back by $3.2 million. There was a 7 per cent reduction in the staff of the Australian Crime Commission."

I also know that ASIO/AFP (Australia's FBI or CIA) despite figures in news story is having tens of million's spent on them on a new head quarters in Canberra.

The Dr Mohamed Haneef debacle.

[edit on 13-8-2009 by acrux]

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 09:58 AM
Since when has "terrorism" been such a problem in Australia that they are prepared to throw out civil liberty safeguards? I didn't know you guys were such a haven for them, or that your country was on the verge of collapse because this problem was so great.

I know we in Canada are a long way away from you, but its looking like Australia and the U.S. must be joined at the hip the way you seem to be adopting all of their paranoia and even one-upping them on it.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 11:11 AM
In the Australian state of Queensland the cops have been able to enter your house without a warrant since the mid 1980's. All they need is suspicion of drug related activities. I believe the boys in blue still have allot of fun raiding hippies for the heck of it.

The Australian govt. has always kind of quietly had the power to come and kick your ass for no reason. The tax dept. has more power than the fed's which is a fact not distributed widely by the govt. These new laws as proposed look more like ongoing public relations; Reinforcing the terrorism charade. And setting up cash pipelines into the pockets of those who create the terrorism myth. And probably a bunch of muslims will be persecuted to generate bad will etc. etc. ...great.

Australia and Canada do seem to have been a bit of a testing ground over the years. I can't speak of Canada's situation but in Australia the govt can get away with more than the US govt. Our numerous secret agencies receive almost none of the scrutiny that their US counterparts are subjected to. One important aspect of the situation is that our leaders only have to fool 20 million people who live on an island of some 3 million square miles. Easy to clamp down on the media etc.

[edit on 13-8-2009 by mrwiffler]

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