Extended Response Laws change for reasons such as; technology advancements, changes in community values, political agendas of: parties of government, pressure groups or general public, changes in expectations of the legal system and significant incidents. Many issues of the modern world need edits to the laws and creation of new laws. These include law changes in; counter-terrorism, surrogacy, medical cannabis, euthanasia and same-sex marriage. The Counter-terrorism laws in Australia is the example of law changes to occur in the near future that this report will explore.
The law changes to counter-terrorism would occur due to the changes of the political agendas of government parties, pressure groups and the general public, and the significant incidents that have occurred recently and are at risk of occurring in the near future. Counter-terrorism laws in Australia do have issues to be solved such as: the human rights protection of the suspects and witnesses of acts of terrorism and the definitions and descriptions of the crimes in the legislation not being clear.
The current Australian counterterrorism laws address all aspects of acts of terrorism completed in Australia up to the committing of the offence. This is accomplished through the Criminal Code Act 1995 which addresses terrorist acts and offences, terrorist organisations, finance of terrorism, violence, advocating terrorism, and foreign incursions and recruitment. These main topics include a brief description with the consequences of the offence on the offender (punishment e. g. mprisonment) and the community (e. g. destruction on critical infrastructure such as telecommunications, electricity or water supplies. ) and any links to international law such as that of the United Nations. These links to international law show the importance of these laws to decisions made in countries all around the world. International law is important to Australia and other wealthy and powerful nations as it sets a standard for many countries to use when punishing offenders of a crime.
The Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 is the document that sets the international prerequisite of punishment of terrorism. This document is continuously being reviewed to maintain its relevance to modern society. The Australian counter-terrorism laws address all aspects of crimes committed in Australia through reference to the international law of the United Nations and the Criminal Code Act 1995. The suspect and witnesses’ human rights and protection are not covered under legislation of the Criminal Code Act 1995 and therefore for ASIO can possibly breach international law.
References to ASIO detaining suspects do not mention their ability to keep any person for questioning for renewable periods of 7 days without charging them of a crime. The Criminal Code Act 1995 should reference the human rights ASIO must abide by when detaining individuals for questioning Andrew Zammit is a researcher at Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre and an expert in counter-terrorism and he says that the safe guard in place that any questioning must be videotaped ensures that the person’s human rights are protected during questioning.
However, does the respect of their human rights continue for the remainder of the time they are detained? The references to the ASIO safeguards potentially means in the Criminal Code Act 1995 are not well explained or detailed. The distinct lack of human rights material suggests that ASIO can complete any questioning and even torture of people to receive answers. This is a severe violation of the human rights of not being subject to torture and the right to privacy.
The Criminal Code Act 1995 needs to be reviewed to clarify that ASIO must respect the human rights, consistent with Australia’s community values. The Criminal Code Act 1995 states the defintions and descriptions of terrorism-related crimes in an unclear manner. The Criminal Code Act 1995 often lacks the descriptions of what occurs when detained and questioned and examples of crimes committed that fit into the category being focused on in that section. The Attorney-General’s power to ban any group they feel is linked to terrorism raises questions about how this power works.
The power to ban any terrorist group instantaneously links to the government’s ability to freeze funding and assets of terrorists and terrorist organisations. Both of these privileges are poorly explained throughout the Criminal Code Act 1995. The Criminal Code Act 1995 states the defintions and descriptions of terrorism-related crimes in an unclear manner. In Australia laws are changed to reflect society’s technological advancements, changes in values, changed political agenda, expectation of the legal system and significant incidents effecting the wider community.
Many issues of the modern world need edits of the law and creation of a new law. The Counter-terrorism laws in Australia is the example of law changes to occur in the near future that I chose to explore. The law changes to counter-terrorism should occur due to the changes of the political agendas of government parties, pressure groups and the general public, and the significant incidents that have occurred recently and may occur in the near future, such as the rising of IS in the Syrian war.
As shown above counter-terrorism laws in Australia briefly outline all aspects of the crimes considered to be part of terrorism. However, counter-terrorism laws in Australia have the issues of the human rights protection of the suspects and witnesses of acts of terrorism and the definitions and descriptions of the crimes in the legislation not being clear. For the benefit of the Australian community the Australian government needs to revise their current counter-terrorism laws.