Sydney Criminal Lawyers talked to our President Pauline Wright about the increase in draconian legislation since 9/11, as well as during the pandemic, and the need for a Bill of Rights.
"Australia has no bill of rights, and that has allowed the Australian government to bring in legislation that it would not have been able to have enacted in other nations, like the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, where they have bills of rights or human rights acts," said Pauline.
"We have control orders. We have preventative detention orders. We have given the home affairs minister the power to strip us of our Australian citizenship if we are dual citizens."
"There is the mandatory retention for all Australians’ metadata for two years, which can be accessed without warrants."
"All of those powers are absolutely extraordinary. And the point is there’s really no evidence that they have been necessary."
"The argument has been that those extreme powers that we do have enhance Australia’s national security, but we doubt that some of those extreme powers have been effective, even though they fundamentally impact on our rights."
"When he was the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor in 2012, Bret Walker SC said that the control orders that Australia had brought in were not effective, not appropriate and they were not necessary."
"Now that’s pretty damning of the powers we’ve given our government. The point is that they undermine Australian society in pretty extraordinary ways."