Thursday, 9 August 2007
Australia’s Antiterrorism Laws Committee; Establishment
- That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Australia’s Anti-terrorism Laws be established to inquire into and report upon Australia’s anti-terrorism laws in light of the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef, including whether the laws which enabled the detention and charging of Dr Haneef:
- adequately safeguard Australian citizens from the threat of terrorism;
- reasonably and adequately define ‘terrorism’ and terrorism-related offences;
- provide reasonable and adequate guidance on matters of policy, practice and procedure to investigative and enforcement agencies, such as the Australian Federal Police;
- maintain an appropriate balance between the need to curtail individual freedoms in situations involving a terrorist threat and the fundamental civil liberties and human rights of Australian citizens;
- have affected fundamental principles of justice such as the presumption of innocence and habeus corpus, and the granting of bail;
- allow for periods of indefinite detention of suspects while being questioned or contain provisions allowing for periods of ‘dead time’ which require amendment or review;
- are in accordance with notions of procedural fairness and natural justice;
- contain or require provisions allowing parliamentary or judicial review;
- are compatible with Australia’s obligations under international law;
- interact appropriately with other powers of detention or deportation, for example immigration laws; and
- any other related matters pertaining to the operation of the laws.
- That the committee present its final report on or before 1 December 2007.
- That the committee consist of 9 senators, as follows:
- That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.
- That the committee elect as chair one of the members nominated by the non-government parties in the Senate.
- That the chair of the committee may, from time to time, appoint another member of the committee to be the deputy chair of the committee, and that the member so appointed act as chair of the committee at any time when there is no chair or the chair is not present at a meeting of the committee.
- That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.
- That the quorum of the committee be 5 members.
- That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.
- That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to consider, and that the quorum of a subcommittee be a majority of the senators appointed to the subcommittee.
- That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.
- That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.