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End 28 Days Pre-Charge Detention – Liberty and Freedom from Arbitrary Detention

Comment 14th July 2010

Dear Sir,

 

I invite you to introduce legislation to repeal 28 days pre-charge detention of persons suspected of having committed a terrorism offence.

Why does this matter?

The legislation is reprehensible as being the single most significant incursion on our civil liberties.  It is neither effective, necessary or consistent with our constitutional traditions;

 

  • There are existing powers within our legislative framework that law enforcement is able to use to achieve the purposes which were originally desired of 28 days detention.
  • No suspect is yet to be detained for 28 days.  This demonstrates; firstly, that our existing systems are adequate to cope with the needs presented and, secondly the powers are of themselves beyond the scope of necessity, which should be a starting test.
  • The system of review by judiciary is a diluted form of review and thus there are inadequate checks on the executive's exercise of its powers.
  • The powers are used in a discriminatory and disproportionately effect minorities.
  • Detention for a period of 28 days without notice of charge has the potential to destroy a person's life by disconnecting them from their family, friends and work.
  • 28 days detention is a springboard to further periods of extended detention (eg. 90 days).  As 28 days is unnecessary, this springboard is not justifiable
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