Joey Muir 3/18/18
The Detainment of Terrorists Suspects: Does it breach Human Rights
‘Human Rights’ are fundamental principles entitled to each person regardless of gender, age, beliefs, or background, these rights comprise of dignity, equality and mutual respect (Australian Human Rights Commission, n.d.). According to the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ (UDHR), each person is born free and equal in dignity and rights[footnoteRef:1]. In concurrence with Article 3 of the UDHR, ‘Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person’. In regards to Article 9 of the UDHR, no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. The Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) Legislation Amendment Terrorism Act 2003 (Cth) granted ASIO ‘superior powers’ to detain and question any person or persons in suspicion of being in possession of information related to an anti-terrorism investigation, regardless of whether or not that person is a terrorist suspect (Australian Human Rights Commission, n.d.). These warrants offer authorization to legally detain a person for up to a week; the information surrounding the detention is sanctioned to be kept confidential. Under the current laws, a person can be convicted of a terrorist offence if they are intentionally providing and/or receiving, being in possession of a thing, or willingly being in control of documents which evidently show proof of a terrorist ‘attack’ being planned (Williams, 2011). The currently established counter-terrorism laws in addition to further laws being proposed heavily impact on how the existing justice system secures our human rights and freedom (Australian Human Rights Commission, n.d.). [1: Universal Declaration of Human Rights]
According to current State and Territory laws in relation to the detainment of terrorist suspects, a person can be detained for a maximum length of 14 days (Australian Government, n.d.), however this is far too long. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the government are reintroducing their initial thoughts of implementing a law that will grant the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and ASIO the ability to detain a terrorist suspect for two weeks without charge (Conifer, 2017). In reference to the proposed law, children detained will be permitted to have an adult present. Turnbull explicitly stated:
"We need nationally consistent pre-charge detention laws so that those who seek to do us harm can be held to account no matter where they are."
Turnbull’s quote evidently shows his intentions, he is aiming to prevent terrorism attacks from occurring. The Prime Minister (PM) is targeting people that are having conversations on cellular devices relating or implying an act of terror, by intercepting these conversations the AFP will have more than enough time to counter...