The use and abuse of power and why we need a bill of rights: the ASIO (terrorism) amendment Act 2003 (CTH) and the case of R V Ul-Haque
This paper assesses the legislative changes contained in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2003 (Cth) and their effects, in light of the recent case of R v Ul-Haque. The author argues that this case is significant for a number of reasons: first, it illustrates the extent to which the new powers are open to abuse by ASJO officers. Second, it argues that those powers erode the fundamental legal principles of a democratic state, including the right to silence, the right to adequate legal representation and most importanty the right of habeas corpus. Third, on the basis of a comparison between the interviews conducted by ASIO and those conducted by the Australian Federal Police, the case demonstrates why it isi nappropriatefo r ASJO to wield detention and interrogationp owers. Finally the authors uggests that the case highlights the growing needfor a statutory bill of rights on at least two grounds: to ensure that rights are protected at law and to promote civics education.