On 13 March 2008 the Attorney-General, the Hon Robert McClelland MP
announced the appointment of the Hon. John Clarke QC to conduct an
inquiry into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef.
The Inquiry is to examine and report on a number of matters, including the arrest, detention, charging, prosecution and release of Dr Haneef,the cancellation of his visa, the administrative and operational procedures and arrangements of the Commonwealth and its agencies relevant to these matters, and any deficiencies in the relevant laws.
On the 19 May 2008, AMCRAN presented a submission
regarding the controversial arrest and detention of Dr Mohamed Haneef
to the Clarke enquiry convened by the Federal government to review the
actions of federal authorities in the affair.
AMCRAN offered the following comments, relating to the four issues designated by the Head of Enquiry, Hon John Clarke QC:
arrest, detention, charging, prosecution and release of Dr Haneef, the
cancellation of his Australian visa and the issuing of a criminal
justice stay certificate
community has long felt targeted by the application of the
anti-terrorism laws, and there has been intense fear within the
community. The case of Dr Haneef has only served to heighten this fear
2. The administrative and operational procedures and arrangements of the Commonwealth and its agencies relevant to these matters
expressed concern over the use of ‘dead time’ provisions, that enabled
authorities to extend the authorised 48 hour questioning period over
also raised concern over the lack of publicly available specifics
relating to Dr Haneef’s case. We offered the opinion that, in future
cases, the fortuitous leaking of information by concerned counsel
cannot be relied upon as the only means to access information regarding
effectiveness of cooperation, coordination and interoperability between
Commonwealth agencies and with state law enforcement agencies relating
to these matters
raised the concern that the confusing and simultaneous deployment of
multiple security agencies—the Australian Federal Police, Australian
Security and Intelligence Organisation, and the Queensland
Police—confounded the possibility of holding any of these agencies
accountable for their treatment of Dr Haneef.
AMCRAN noted that the confusing interplay of state and federal authorities has also been a problem amongst the Muslim community
4. Having regard to the above, any deficiencies in the relevant laws
or administrative and operational procedures and arrangements of the
Commonwealth and its agencies, including agency and interagency
communication protocols and guidelines.
this heading, AMCRAN suggested that Dr Haneef’s case is an example of
the broad and nebulous application of the laws, capable of capturing
the type of innocuous activity that Dr Haneef was accused of engaging
concluding, AMCRAN suggested the pertinence of the issues raised in
this review not just for the broader Muslim community, but also the
Tamil, Kurdish and Somali communities in Australia. AMCRAN suggested a
thorough review into the operation of the laws that addressed the
concerns of these affected communities.
This submission was prepared by Sanmati Verma and Ayishah Ansari.
The office of Hon John Clarke QC acknowledged receipt of the submission on 19 May 2008.
Inquiry will report by 30 September 2008. To view information on the
progress of the report and its terms of reference, see the Clarke