Document Type

Book Chapter


This is not a chapter about the theatre of the absurd. Nor is it a narrative that simply follows and recounts the twists and turns of the drama played out in the arrest, detention, charging and visa cancellation of Dr Mohamed Haneef. It is about Australia's counter-terrorism strategy, and it is about the actors involved in constructing and operationalising that strategy, especially the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) and the Commonwealth governemnt (led at the time by Prime Minister John Howard (Prime Minister)). It also focuses on Haneef qua terror suspect and detainee; a man held for almost two weeks before being charged with terrorism offences, and whose visa was cancelled immediately after being released on bail. The charge was later withdrawn for lack of evidence and his visa cancellation was set aside as ultra vires. The Haneef drama ultimately became the subject of judicial inquiry which, however, failed to deal effectively with some of the more important issues and concerns raised by the case.