Clarke Inquiry into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef Print E-mail
Monday, 19 May 2008


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:

1. The arrest, detention, charging, prosecution and release of Dr Haneef, the cancellation of his Australian visa and the issuing of a criminal justice stay certificate


The Muslim 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 and insecurity.

2. The administrative and operational procedures and arrangements of the Commonwealth and its agencies relevant to these matters


AMCRAN expressed concern over the use of ‘dead time’ provisions, that enabled authorities to extend the authorised 48 hour questioning period over several days.

AMCRAN 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 terror investigations.

3. The effectiveness of cooperation, coordination and interoperability between Commonwealth agencies and with state law enforcement agencies relating to these matters


AMCRAN 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.

Under 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 in.

In 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.


The Inquiry will report by 30 September 2008. To view information on the progress of the report and its terms of reference, see the Clarke Inquiry website.


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