Be Informed: Review of ASIO detention and questioning powers
Wednesday, 23 February 2005

 

Anti-terrorism laws allow ASIO to detain and question people that they suspect may have information related to terrorism. Under these laws, people do not have the right to silence and they are subject to secrecy provisions which means that they are not allowed to talk about the fact that there has been a warrant against them.

 

The good news is that the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD is reviewing these laws by looking at the effect and operation of these laws.

 

The Committee wants to hear the views of the public by 24 March 2005 , so this is an important opportunity to let them know your views about these laws. At the end of the review they will make recommendations to Parliament about how to change or improve these laws.

 

To help you get started, UTS Community Law Centre has just released a very helpful Information Kit (download it here) that provides the background information about the laws as well as information about how to make submissions to the review.


About the Kit

 

Since 2001 new laws have been introduced in Australia that increase the powers of the police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). According to the Federal Government, these new laws have been passed to help stop terrorism. There have been many concerns that the laws operate unfairly and that they target people who are not involved with terrorism. These laws are now being reviewed.

It is important that the Australian community finds out about these laws as they potentially affect all of our rights and freedoms. You now have an opportunity to voice your concerns relating to these anti-terrorism laws. Have your say by writing to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO, ASIS and the DSD (the Committee).

 

This information kit explains some of Australia’s anti-terrorism laws, including the ones that are being reviewed. It also provides enough information and references to allow advice workers and members of the public to find out more about the laws. There is also guidance on how to make written submissions to the Committees that will be reviewing some of the laws. The focus of the kit is on the questioning and detention powers of ASIO and the Australian Federal Police (AFP). It also contains a brief outline of new criminal laws in relation to terrorism.

 

Information on how to make written submissions is contained in Information Sheet. However, the Committee that is reviewing the laws has asked for submissions by 24 March 2005, so it is important to act now if you wish to make a submission

 

Click here to download the Information Kit.