Is there a precedent?

KERRY O’BRIEN: Okay. The Federal Police were also given every opportunity to convince the magistrate hearing the case against Dr Haneef that he should be held in custody, and the magistrate rejected their arguments. Have federal police given you information that they haven’t given to the magistrate?

KEVIN ANDREWS: I wasn’t in the courts, I’m not a party to the information provided to the magistrate. But the test which I have to apply for myself is a simple test. And that is, is there evidence which is in this case provided by the Federal Police, and that evidence reveals or establishes in my mind a reasonable suspicion of association with people engaged in criminal conduct?

KERRY O’BRIEN: But Mr Andrews, I assume that if there was any strong evidence against Dr Haneef it would have been entered in the magistrate’s hearing. Surely the Federal Police haven’t withheld information from her, but have given it to you in such a way that you can act on it but not reveal it to anybody else?

KEVIN ANDREWS: These are parallel inquiries, if I can put it that way.

KERRY O’BRIEN: They’re disconnected surely?

KEVIN ANDREWS: No. But, the magistrate could not be properly asked to determine whether or not the visa should be revoked. Nor was I determining whether or not there should be bail granted. I have a set of strict criteria which I look at pursuant to the immigration law.

So there you go. What does it matter what the magistrate knew? The government wants this guy locked up. Whether the magistrate thinks Dr Haneef poses any danger to society is neither here nor there. She is, after all, only pursuing some trivial ‘parallel inquiry’ about some possible criminal offence. She can’t be expected to trouble her pretty head about really serious questions such as whether Dr Haneef might have an association with people involved in criminal conduct. For that sort of matter we need grown-ups like the Immigration Minister to gather the relevant information and make the decisions.

O’Brien asked most of the right questions, but I wish he’d asked how many precedents there are for an intervention like this. Certainly S.501 of the Migration Act allows the minister to cancel someone’s visa for “failing the character test”. There are several ways to fail the test, but the relevant ones are these two:

* When the person either has, or has had, an association with an individual, group or organisation suspected of having been involved in criminal conduct.

* When there is a significant risk that the person will engage in criminal conduct in Australia, harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person in Australia, vilify a segment of the Australian community, or incite discord in the Australian community or in a segment of that community.

The recent case that comes to mind is that of Scott Parkin. The political parallels are striking if not surprising, with a pathetic acquiescence by Labor, and a principled stand by the Greens and Democrats.

But that was a case of the minister throwing someone out of the country. The Haneef case is different because there is no option for the visitor in question to leave the country; indeed, the government is actually using the legislation precisely to keep him in detention.

So, the question is: Has an Australian government ever done this before — namely, cancelled the visa of a non-resident who has been charged with a crime but granted bail, solely in order to over-rule the judge’s decision and keep them locked up?

Update: Andrew Bartlett actually attended the bail hearing. Jeremy Sear’s reaction is much the same.

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47 Responses to Is there a precedent?

  1. Perhaps now people will finally realised just how dangerous the unfettered power the Migration Act provides. In effect, Ministerial discretion can be used to keep people locked up indefinitely. It certainly has been in the past, even though at the moment I can’t think of another case which quite parallels this one.

    It is worth noting that the so-called ‘character test’ of whether a “person either has, or has had, an association with an individual, group or organisation suspected of having been involved in criminal conduct” is not assessed by a court. It is also not related to the success or otherwise of the charge against Dr Haneef.

    The charge against Haneef could be dropped tomorrow and the Minister could (and probably would) still keep his visa cancelled. The government would then simply seek to deport him rather than detain him.

    Of course, Dr Haneef will also now be liable to pay the cost of his immigration detention whilst he is held at His Majesty’s pleasure.

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  3. cam says:

    Andrew, Perhaps now people will finally realised just how dangerous the unfettered power the Migration Act provides.

    I agree entirely. It entrenched arbitrary government in legislation and carries language like “non-compellable” and the minister to “exercise power personally”.

    I think it is obvious that immigration is where we are governing under a state of exception and where the government will arbitrarily strip an individual of their full judicial expression.

    Camps are the inevitable outcome and putting a terrorist suspect in an immigration camp is a good example of how the state of exception is widening from immigration only to other components of executive governance and force.

  4. There’s been a useful intra-lawyers discussion of this over at Legal Eagle’s place. I’ll go precedent hunting tomorrow, but at first blush I don’t think there’s an exact parallel, for the reason Andrew mentions: the great powers conferred on the Executive arm by the migration act.

    If I were Haneef’s lawyer, I’d be advising his surety to fail to post bail. That way, he has to be remanded in custody, with appropriate legal rights (like access to his lawyer).

    If the Minister insists on locking him up in Villawood after that, we’ve got a constitutional crisis.

  5. Yobbo says:

    Everyone is acting like cancelling a visa is some kind of new thing.

    You can have your visa effectively cancelled by a level 2 public service officer on entering any airport in Australia, on a hunch if he feels like it.

    It’s not like anything is happening to this guy that hasn’t happened to thousands of backpackers. Who btw had no terrorist relatives, unlike this guy who does.

    In effect, Ministerial discretion can be used to keep people locked up indefinitely.

    It’s my understanding that they can only keep him locked up until he goes to trial, and that is only because of his bail conditions? Otherwise he could simply go home, like any other “detained” immigrant can.

    Refugee activists always forget that part when they talk about people being “locked up”.

    They are there because they

    A:) Chose to try and cheat the system by not applying in advance for a visa.
    B:) Hold out for endless appeals.

    Now the situation where he can’t go home because it would breach his bail, and can’t leave the detention centre because his visa is cancelled is an unfortunate one, but something tells me he’d be getting an army of Andrew Bartletts to fight his visa cancellation for him too, so he’d be in detention in any case.

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  7. This is all from ancient memory, but the last I had anything to do with this sort of thing (over 5 years ago now), I seem to recall that detention was required of an illegal non-citizen, but only for the purpose of deportation from Australia.

    Is that not the position now?

  8. Laura says:

    If he stays in Villawood can the AFP continue to interrogate him?

  9. Bring Back CL's blog says:

    what usually happens when the Minster uses these powers is that the Government wants to get the said person out of Australia yet in this case they want to hold him IN Australia and we do not know IF there is any extra information Andrews has.
    IF there is then why wasn’t lodged in the bail hearing.

    Quite clearly the Government have upended the Magistrate’s decision. Won’t he get good legal service in Villawood NSW when his team is in sunny Queensland

  10. Guise says:

    This is, surely, a stunning example of guilt by association – which various sources offer as an example of a logical fallacy. Would that that was not a term that sprang so readily to mind when discussing the current Government’s policies about … well, anything.

    A little carefully worded doubt from the Opposition regarding the Minister’s actions would not have gone amiss. Disappointed again.

    Anyway, I’m sure I’m betraying astonishing levels of ignorance of matters legal with this, but frankly I’d be delighted to see the Minister subject to charges of contempt of court, or subverting the course of justice, or something/. And I’m sure there’s precedent for that.

  11. paul frijters says:

    I’m of course in entire agreement with Cam and Andrew B on this.

    It does show you once again though that the general population, as represented by the two major political parties, doesnt care about civil liberties or truth. You are all, quite rightly, arguing for what is in the best interest of people incapable of noting or pursuing it themselves. By questioning the law and the vast majority of the nation’s representatives on the basis of what is `fundamental’ to our society you’re a ‘benevolent but paternalistic’ elite in action.

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  13. I followed the logic right through to the end of the quoted interview. Then you make a jump into illogic.

    It seems almost certain that Haneef was associated with criminals (those associated with committing acts of terrorism) even if he himself did nothing criminal. Therefore the Minister acted reasonably under the Migration Act. If you wish to attack it, the Act, do so but the Minister’s actions are sound and endorsed by those in the Labor Party who are in the know.

    Of course Mick Keelty might make information available to the Minister (and Kevin Rudd and Bourke) that he would not reveal in an open court. This is a terrorism investigation not a prosecution for jaywalking.

    Haneef is not being sent to a Gulag. He is remaining in custody until his case goes to court – a reasonable fear is that he might flee the country. If he is found guilty he is in deep trouble. If not he will be deported because he has violated the terms under which an Australian visa is issued.

    The bleating about civil liberties here is out of all proportion to what it seems his known associates were trying to do – assist terrorists in killing totally innocent people.

  14. Guido says:

    You bleeding hearts liberals!

    Don’t you know that Howard’s anti-terror laws are working? The wrestling journalist has told us so.

  15. Pingback: LawFont.com » Off topic but important: my 2c on Haneef and the rule of law

  16. James Farrell says:

    Of course Mick Keelty might make information available to the Minister (and Kevin Rudd and Bourke) that he would not reveal in an open court.

    Couldn’t he, and wouldn’t he, reveal it to the magistrate in confidence?

  17. cam says:

    Harry, Your comment is a good example why conservatism is unfit to inform governance.

    It seems almost certain that Haneef was associated with criminals (those associated with committing acts of terrorism) even if he himself did nothing criminal.

    The state is not greater than the individual and if the state’s case cannot survive judicial and public scrutiny then it is incompatible with liberal democracy and the rule of law.

    Therefore the Minister acted reasonably under the Migration Act. If you wish to attack it, the Act, do so but the Ministers actions are sound

    The Migration Act Amendment of 2005 is a legislative excuse to statutorially explain away the whole tampa affair and the exception governance in the area of immigration. It is one of the few pieces of legislation where I rang up the minister’s office directly to register my displeasure. It enables and promotes arbitrary government. if the minister wished to ensure the authority of the rule of law he would not have gazumped the judicial decision with a decision based on executive whim. It is arbitrary government, plain and simple.

    and endorsed by those in the Labor Party who are in the know.

    Appeal to authority is incompatible with the rule of law.

    Of course Mick Keelty might make information available to the Minister (and Kevin Rudd and Bourke) that he would not reveal in an open court. This is a terrorism investigation not a prosecution for jaywalking.

    Another appeal to authority. Terrorism is a civil issue and must be prosecuted to the law’s full conclusion in the civil courts so there can be no doubt that it is repugnant to the Australian system. Using executive whim and arbitrary government under a state of exception does not do this.

    Haneef is not being sent to a Gulag.

    Villawood is a camp. It exists in exception which places it the whole process under full executive control. The migration act amendment is for that purpose. It allows the minister to ignore oversight and make arbitrary decisions which impugne the administrative process. That the government has extended that to terrorism by using the immigration act suggests that a state of exception (or emergency) will be the norm where-ever it can be leveraged.

    He is remaining in custody until his case goes to court – a reasonable fear is that he might flee the country. If he is found guilty he is in deep trouble. If not he will be deported because he has violated the terms under which an Australian visa is issued.

    The bleating about civil liberties here is out of all proportion

    Civil liberties are absolute and not at the whim of the government or the executive. That means even individuals we may collectively find repugnant have the full protection of the law. We seriously need a Bill of Rights – and one that explicitly prohibits states of exception.

    to what it seems his known associates were trying to do – assist terrorists in killing totally innocent people.

    Think of the children argument.

    State of exception or emergency government is incompatible with republicanism and liberal democracy.

  18. It seems almost certain that Haneef was associated with criminals (those associated with committing acts of terrorism) even if he himself did nothing criminal. Therefore the Minister acted reasonably under the Migration Act.

    So now it’s reasonable to impute guilt by association, is it Harry?

    As for the Act, I’ve attacked it quite often in the past, precisely because it empowers Ministers to exercise power over individuals in an arbitrary and oppressive manner. It’s no credit to Andrews that he chose to exercise that power – as I’ve pointed out previously, s501 of the Migration Act only empowers the Minister to engage in acts of bastardry like this – it doesn’t place him under any duty to do so. The Minister has not acted soundly, ALP endorsement or no ALP endorsement.

    Was Haneef in any position to know that he was associating with criminals in 2004 when he stayed with his now infamous second cousins? In 2006 when he passed on that SIM card? The presumption of innocence says “no” – the criminal acts of his cousins were committed after these two events and there’s no reason to suppose that they were even in contemplation then.

    “Hey Haneef, can I have your SIM? I’ll need it for a terrorist attack we’re planning for next year.”

    Hardly credible, is it?

  19. James Farrell says:

    Nice work, Cam.

  20. Bring Back CL's blog says:

    I agree with Harry afterall the information is so secret it couldn’t be given to the magistrate , wouldn’t be a secret then would it, so let us lock him up on information no-one knows so we can proect our freedom lovong way of life.

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  22. Yobbo says:

    “So now its reasonable to impute guilt by association, is it Harry?”

    It’s not about that and you know it Gummo. There doesn’t need to be proof of any kind to revoke a visa. Going to Australia – or any country – is always a privelege, not a right.

    Every country in the world can and frequently does deny visas to people without proof of anything. Suspicion is enough *anywhere*.

    Acting like this is the sudden death of due process is a bit strange seeing that this has been the situation the world over since Passports were invented.

    The only problem here is the situation where Haneef is caught between a rock and a hard place – He can’t leave Australia because he’s on bail and awaiting trial, and he can’t leave the detention centre unless he leaves Australia.

  23. Sylvia Else says:

    There are two parts to the test that Andrews has to apply before cancelling Dr Haneef’s visa. The first is that the minister reasonably suspects that Dr Haneef fails the character test. It appears that the minister can reasonably have that suspicion, mainly because that part of the test is so incredibly weak and vague.

    [On the face of it, someone could make a baseless accusation that a married couple were involved in criminal activity, and then the minister could cancel their visas on the grounds that they were each associating with the other.]

    The second part of the test is that the minister is satisfied that cancellation is in the national interest. I have not seen the minister quoted as addressing that part of the test at all. Andrews appears to want us to believe that he is more or less compelled to act, when he’s not.

    It beggars belief that Dr Haneef could represent a threat now that he is under suspicion, and would be watched, whatever the AFP might think he was up to before (and there seems to be precious little evidence that he was up to anything).

    It is also concerning that the minister has chosen a path that renders his decision almost immune to review. Had he got a delegate to cancel the visa (after allowing Dr Haneef the opportunity to explain why he should be considered to be of good character, because natural justice would be required), then the Administrative Appeals Tribunal could have looked at all the facts, and formed an independent view about whether cancellation of the visa is appropriate.

    There is such a thing as group-think. It’s entirely possible that the AFP and government together have convinced themselves that Dr Haneef is a great threat, when an independent observer provided with the same facts might reach quite the opposite conclusion.

    As things stand, we’re being asked to trust the Government. Previous events such as the children overboard saga, suggest that that trust would be misplaced.

    Sylvia.

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  25. TimT says:

    It seems to me – from my unprofessional perspective – that the actions of Kevin Andrews and the AFP are within the law, as it currently stands, and that criticisms of Andrews’ actions are not that they are unlawful, but that they are disproportionate.

    On the other hand, the charges and considerations that Andrews and the AFP must be acting on are quite serious: assistance to terrorism, in the context of a series of failed attempts at mass murder in the UK.

    So Andrews and the AFP have got to balance these two things up – considering Dr Haneef’s human rights on the one hand, and considering the connections to terrorists on the other. Frankly, I’m not surprised that they appear to have fallen on the latter side. But it’s probably too quick to judge, as Andrews himself has made the point repeatedly that there is evidence relating to Mr Haneef’s connections to terrorism that can not, as yet, be made public.

    On the face of it, then, the response of Andrews and co doesn’t seem outrageous, though maybe it is disproportionate. But surely, if there is a huge problem with the anti-terror legislation that allows this sort of thing to happen, then it behooves the critics of Andrews and the AFP to offer practical suggestions as to alternative legislation to deal with unfolding cases such as this one?

  26. Sylvia Else says:

    TimT,

    Mr Andrews action in cancelling the visa may be unlawful if it was for an improper purpose. The specific purpose in this case was clearly to cause Dr Haneef to remain in detention despite the decision of the Magistrate’s Court. That may well be an improper purpose. The minister also has to be satisfied (not merely of the opinion) that the cancellation is in the national interest. A court could find that there was no evidence, or insufficient evidence, on which the minister could be so satisfied.

    Even if there is evidence about Dr Haneef that cannot be made public, it could have been made available to the magistrate during the bail hearing, and could be made available to the AAT in the event of an appeal against the decision to cancel the visa (which appeal would only be possible if the decision had not been made by the minister personally).

    As things stand, the Government is claiming that there is information, but only those who’ve already decided that Dr Haneef should be locked up are allowed to see it. That amounts to asking us to trust the Government. They haven’t exactly earned that trust in the past.

    Sylvia.

  27. As things stand, the Government is claiming that there is information, but only those whove already decided that Dr Haneef should be locked up are allowed to see it.

    Now when have we heard that before?

  28. Sylvia Else says:

    I haven’t an answer to whether there’s a precedent, but I’ve noted that under the legislation, if the minister uses, as he did, the procedure that does not require natural justice, then he is required to lay notice of the decision before Parliament within 15 sitting days.

    So far, I have not been able to find any indication of any such notices laid before Parliament.

    Sylvia.

  29. Just Me says:

    “Haneef is not being sent to a Gulag. He is remaining in custody until his case goes to court – a reasonable fear is that he might flee the country.”
    Harry Clarke

    IIRC, he had to surrender his passport as a condition of bail, so how could he then flee this isolated island continent?

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  31. Ken Lovell says:

    We can gain a reasonable idea of the nature of the information that is too secret for us mere plebs to know by examining the information which has been released. It includes such gems as: one of the alleged British terrorists lent Haneef money in 2004, and Haneef kept in contact with his cousins on the internet. Given that he lived with them for years and was now living in a foreign country, it would have been remarkable if he hadn’t.

    If the AFP regards harmless facts like these as evidence of association with a terrorist organisation then there’s no reason to think the secret information is any more damning. And if it is, why aren’t the UK authorities demanding his extradition? The Scotland Yard detectives who were allegedly racing against time to question Haneef before he had to be released seem to have disappeared without trace.

    The legislation clearly gives the minister a discretion. no more. He’s chosen to exercise that discretion within hours of a magistrate granting Haneef bail, when there is no reason whatsoever to believe that Haneef poses a threat to the Australian community. Nor is the question of Haneef fleeing the country remotely relevant to Andrews’ responsibilities – in fact given his promise to deport Haneef as soon as he can he ought to be glad if he clears off of his own accord. Therefore the only practical effect of Andrews’ decision is to let the Commonwealth lock him up indefinitely and charge him for the privilege.

    Cancelling his visa is an act of sheer bastardry, presumably done in the faint hope that Labor would criticise the decision and thus enable the ‘Labor’s soft on terrorists’ screeching to start again. And Andrews’ boss has the effrontery to go on television and ask in wide-eyed wonder why the people don’t like him any more.

  32. Patrick says:

    So far, I have not been able to find any indication of any such notices laid before Parliament.


    Parliament won’t accumulate 15 sitting days for more than a month from now.

  33. skepticlawyer if you really are interested to discover constitutional issues relevant to this issue then why not check out my blog at http://au.360.yahoo.com/profile-ijpxwMQ4dbXm0BMADq1lv8AYHknTV_QH which also contains various correspondence to Dr. Haneef’s lawyers and other statements regarding what the Framers of the Constitution stated about “CIVIL RIGHTS”.

    Yes, they did debate this issue extensively, and I have quoted many, as I do in my books published in the INSPECTOR-RIKATI

  34. Yobo,

    You do not seem to understand that Dr. Haneef is lawfully in the Commonwealth of Australia by order of the magistrate to order him to be granted bail, but he is not by this allowed to leave the Commonwealth of Australia.
    He therefore did not need a visa to remain, as the Federal Government itself (via the Australian federal Police) opposed for Dr. Haneef to leave the Commonwealth of Australia.

    The Migration Act and neither so the Minister for Immigration (of the Commonwealth) cannot override a JUDICIAL DETERMINATION of a COURT OF LAW. As the framers of the Constitution made clear DUE PROCESS OF LAW by way of JUDICIAL DECISION was to be applied.
    My blog http://au.360.yahoo.com/profile-ijpxwMQ4dbXm0BMADq1lv8AYHknTV_QH sets these kind of issues out in considerable details.

    The issue is not if the Minister can cancel a visa but that he cannot enforce his own decision to have anyone to be detained/deported WITHOUT A judicial determination BY A State Court, as the Framers of the Constitution made clear.
    We have seen with Vivian Alvares Solon how terrible wrong it can go when they ignore the RULE OF LAW and DUE PROCESS OF LAW. Yet, this could have been avoided in hundreds of cases had they followed the very legal process the Framers of the Constitution made clear was to be followed.
    Again, let the minister make any decision but unless it is enforced by a JUDICIAL DETERMINATION of a State court, the decision cannot be enforced! That is the issue you ought to consider.

  35. Doug says:

    Moving beyond the legal issues, underying this problem is one of trust – trust that the Minister exercising his powers on the basis of information that the public are not privy too is exercising that power responsibly.

    The difficulty is that there is now a trail of cases in which it has become clear that people exercising offices of trust have been economical with the truth or have refused to take responsibility for their actions.

    Once trust has been betrayed, as it has been by this Government, it is perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of claims which rely us to trust their judgement and accept without question the basis on which they are claiming to make it.

    For the sake of the point I am making, even if Andrews has a solid basis in law and evidence for his decision, a reasonable person would have valid grounds for not accepting his assessment and decision on face value. And that is a situation of the government’s own making.

  36. Yobbo says:

    “IIRC, he had to surrender his passport as a condition of bail, so how could he then flee this isolated island continent?”

    How does anyone else get here without a passport? Boats.

  37. Spiros says:

    Here is some questions for the lawyers.

    Why is Haneef going to be tried in this country at all? All of his alleged offences occurred in Britain, so shouldn’t he just be extradited to Britain as soon as they ask fr him?

    And supposed Haneef is tried here for what he allegedly did in Britan and found not guilty. He will certainly be deported back to Britain right away after that. Can he then be tried in Britain for (effectively) the same offences?

  38. Sylvia Else says:

    Patrick,

    I was looking for PRECEDENTS. If there have been PREVIOUS uses of this power, then there should already have been notices of the decisions laid before parliament, and I cannot find them.

    Sylvia.

  39. Patrick says:

    Ah, I misunderstood. Thanks for clarifying. I don’t envy you searching the gazettes for that (or anything).

    Isn’t all this actually quite counter the point? Ie, doesn’t all the press and blog attention to this suggest that the ‘system’ is working quite well? I do have a soft spot (well, you’d want to be William Tell to hit it) for mushy-left-libertarians like Cam, but I am an evil conservative at heart, so I am uncomfortable with the bright-line absolutes required to be any kind of libertarian .

    From that perspective (ie discomfort with the bright-line absolutes of individual liberty) the mere fact that these cases do get so much attention suggests to me that the system does provide a high level of protection against abuse, and we might not need hard rules.

    Cam seems to me to have a particular view of the rule of law – it may never have existed to his satisfaction under a Westminster government.

    He also has an astonishing view of terrorism: ‘Terrorism is a civil issue and must be prosecuted to the laws full conclusion in the civil courts ‘. I don’t believe I have heard even the mushiest of mushy-left types say that before.

    NB, my (limited) understanding of the recent development of migration law suggests that the Labor party would be exceptionally hypocritical to attack the current regime.

  40. gilmae says:

    He also has an astonishing view of terrorism: Terrorism is a civil issue and must be prosecuted to the laws full conclusion in the civil courts . I dont believe I have heard even the mushiest of mushy-left types say that before.

    There are a number of precendents

  41. Patrick says:

    I believe they all involved criminal trials, although Lockerbie also involved civil suits against Libya, similar to those being conducted against banks and countries which allegedly finance terrorism (which I think are totally appropriate).

    There is a pretty big difference between civil and criminal prosecution.

  42. gilmae says:

    Yeah, you are right. The non-lawyer in me translated civil as non-military. Taken as such, I am sure you will agree it is hardly a novel position. If I did take Cam at face value and assume he means lawsuits brought by citizens, that would indeed be an tangent from the norm.

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  44. Patrick says:

    The pedantic and technicality obssesed part of me that went to law school didn’t even think of civil v military :)

    I do prefer to think he meant that, but it is slightly puzzling since he must actually mean civil in distinction to ‘executive’, which is not a clear-cut distinction (to me).

  45. cam says:

    Patrick, I meant non-military. Using military courts, which the US is doing, is exception governance. Which is why I made that distinction. Indonesia took the civil (non-martial) route and it has payed off for them. Quite remarkable too considering how militarised their civil structures were until recently.

    Interestingly though, I read somewhere today that someone in the US was seeking a civil (vs criminal) case against Al Queda. That type of legal action was used against the KKK as well about twenty years ago IIRC.

    NB, my (limited) understanding of the recent development of migration law suggests that the Labor party would be exceptionally hypocritical to attack the current regime.

    It wont be any difference. If was a tragic 15 years ago I am sure I could have pointed out exception governance from the Hawke/Keating governments. It is becoming the norm in western democracies. Given that Rudd has joined the war cabinet over the indiginous emergency and gave the nod to this, I dont doubt that exception governance will become the norm under labor.

    Unfortunately separation of powers is very poor in westminster so legislative only parties, like the Democrats and Greens should be encouraged in upper houses IMO. But Westminster doesnt have an energetic legislative, the executive nearly always dominates parliamentary systems.

    mushy-left-libertarians

    heh, it actually fairly absolutist in the dominance of the individual – almost … liberal. Most self-professed Australian conservatives are liberals. Conservatism however, has arisen since Marxism as the competing political philosophy for governance to liberalism.

  46. Patrick says:

    since Marxism ‘???

  47. cam says:

    Since the collapse of marxism as a political force, yes.

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