Thursday, November 08, 2007

Terror Struck

While the wingnuts and basket cases from the left and the right are collectively frothing at the mouth over today's decision by the Solicitor General, albeit in different directions, one does have to wonder about the legislative capacity of our Parliament.

Put aside for a moment for the rights of wrongs of last month's actions by police and focus for a moment on the fact it's probably the law that's up the duff in this instance.

I mean if this doesn't make the point then what does?

In examining the the relevant provisions of the Terrorism Suppression Act I have concluded the legislation is unnecessarily complex, incoherent and as a result almost impossible to apply to the domestic circumstances observed by police in this case.
David Collins - Solicitor General.

In a nut shell - and I'll use simple language for the tinfoil hat brigade out there - it means the law is an ass.

It doesn't necessarily mean the police were wrong. It means the law has been written in such a way that they simply cannot lay terror charges.

Take a close look at the Act. Have a read through and pay attention to the way it deals with domestic terrorism. I think you'll find it pays it only cursory, if not fleeting, attention and the definitions are such that .... well you get my point.

When the powers that be (ie the wallies in Parliament) wrote this law in 2002 the focus back then was ostensibly very 9/11 focussed. Threats were seen as external, not internal and the legislation was written accordingly.

And for those that are lambasting the Police for seeking lay the charges under the Act in the first place. Well you might want to consider this.

It was the only way they could get the interception warrants they needed. There was no other statute, or at least none the Solicitor General can find, that'd let them do it.

And isn't it deliciously ironic that the Government is told one of its main security Statutes is a pile of dross on the very same day MP's are amending that very legislation.

I'm betting the Attorney General isn't smiling.

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