Document Type

Journal Article


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 UI-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 ASIO 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 importantly, 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 is inappropriate for ASIO to wield detention and interrogation powers. Finally, the author suggests that the case highlights the growing need for a statutory bill of rights on at least two grounds: to ensure that rights are protected at law and to promote civics education.