Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014; In Committee
Thank you for the compliment, Senator Wright, but I do not for a moment share your view that this is a departure from traditional rule of law principles. This is a new offence which is being created. I will wait until you have asked whatever questions you want to ask me before speaking at length about the desirability of the provision, but this is no departure from established rule of law principles merely to create a new criminal offence, a very narrow one, subject to the ordinary defences which are provided for in the generic provisions of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, transparent on the face of the statute with no reverse of the onus of proof, no reduction in the standard of proof and beyond the generic defences a series of specific defences which in the government's view deal with legitimate reasons for travel to declared areas. There is nothing unusual about this. How you think merely because it is a newly expressed offence that that is a departure from the rule of law escapes me.