Monday 27 November 2017
I joined crossbench colleagues to oppose new terrorism laws for the continued detention of an offender at the end of their sentence because they could commit a terrorist act. It is important that governments take effective action to reduce terrorism threats but this bill is a dangerous breach of basic human rights that could deprive innocent people of their freedom.
We already have laws to deal with people who express an intention to conduct a terrorist attack; the new laws detain people for their beliefs and comments made in prison. It is not the role of the courts to predict what someone will do and punish them for it. Healthy civilised democracies have a long tradition of not imprisoning people for their beliefs or crimes they have not committed; our civil rights protections distinguish us from countries that breed terrorism. While there is little evidence the new laws will improve community safety, they provide good ‘tough-on-terror’ sound bites and the government got support of the Opposition to pass the laws.
My speech is HERE.