People smugglers, war criminals and retrospective laws

My post at CDU Law and Business Online.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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10 years ago

Your thoughts on government efforts about protecting its people would be greatly appreciated for my uni study. :) http://edu.surveygizmo.com/s3/703514/Is-the-pursuit-of-public-safety-and-national-security-unnecessarily-compromising-people-s-rights-to-privacy

Thanks ;)

whyisitso
whyisitso
10 years ago

Retrospective criminal law is an abomination, as is retrospective law in any field whether financal (eg taxation) or civil. Its enactment by any so-called democratic government is simply totalitarian. It’s not good enough to say that a particular government has the “power” to enact such legislation. It ought not have that power.

Ken calls me a crusty old Tory, but this is a principle that all right-wingers should hold dear. If they do not, then as far as I am concerned they are lefties.

I think John Howard blotted his copybook badly when he retrospectively criminalised perps of the bottom-of-the-harbour schemes all those years ago. Of course Homer will say that “you would say that wouldn’t you”, but that’s because he is not intelligent enough to distinguish between his justified gross distaste for such schemes and the abandonment of the central principle of “the rule of law”.