Barrister Abbott: The PM’s controversial plans to override laws to ban Aussie terrorists 680



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In the latest case of he said, she said, Tony Abbott has revealed that his strong words about denying Australian Islamic fighters to re-enter the country may not have been exactly in line with the courts.

Just months ago we were arguing with Indonesia about why their president was overriding the justice system, and now, while a vastly different circumstance, our own leader believes he has the power to do things – only to find he is in fact wrong. At least perhaps in this instance, his words may not hold true in the end.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Abbott launched a new case for why he wants to let the immigration minister strip a terrorist of their citizenship in lieu of a court conviction.

Cabinet is divided, the people are divided and legal experts are saying it would be unconstitutional and violates the clear separation of powers between the executive and judiciary – do you agree? Has Abbott gone too far with his promises?

Mr Abbott didn’t want to hear it from shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus who says suspected terrorists should be convicted first. He simply doesn’t want these people to be let in, full stop. But he’s simply not listening to what the constitution says and that’s that everyone deserves a fair trial.

“What happens if they get off? That’s the problem,” he said on Friday.

“We all know there are evidentiary issues with prosecutions of people for offences abroad.

“Now, I don’t want terrorists in our country. Full stop. And if someone leaves our country to join a terrorist army abroad, I
don’t want them back”.

Former national security monitor Bret Walker SC said that he was disappointed that the Prime Minister didn’t assume that a conviction would be necessary before banning citizens from returning. Mr Walker was asked to provided recommendations regarding the issue and didn’t mention convictions but it was assumed.

“The tragedy is that there’s well over a hundred Australians who’ve gone to fight with terrorist armies in the Middle East. The government wants to keep them out, I regret to say the Labor Party wants to bring them back,” the Prime Minister said in Cairns on Friday.

Next week, Abbott will attempt to bring in legislation that will override any constitutional test and keep those traitors out for good.

“Clearly if you have a minister making a decision that somebody has been guilty of some criminal offence, and then cancelling their citizenship without any court conviction or court decision, then there is going to be a constitutional issue,” Cabinet Minister and former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull said.

The Law Council of Australia has issued a statement expressing concern about the proposed legislation.

Law Council president Mr Duncan McConnel said, “The separation of powers means that a minister cannot exercise a judicial role to decide criminal guilt”.


Considering Abbott’s stance on national security and how his firm words have resonated with voters, is it predictable to see it all come undone? Do you think that Abbott should be able to override law?

Emma Greenbury

  1. In my opinion this is a dangerous move, our courts are more than capable of assessing the evidence and giving a verdict. I have faith in our justice system

    5 REPLY
    • Jill without evidence, they have no case that applies to any law..they need to do surveillance and get the evidence. No one wants terrorists back here but we don’t want people who may be just visiting relatives to lose citizenship either, there could be many reasons they are there. These people need to be able to present their evidence that they were not involved

    • You are so right Libbi,
      Our courts are the best in the world.
      What Abbott doing amounts to playing God.
      If he does not like you, you get thrown out of the country.
      You do not have any redress at all.
      That is not what Australia is all about.

    • Our courts are to
      lenient., at last a Pm who is listening to the majority of Australians

  2. I believe the elected prime minister is listening to the majority of people in this case and should keep the terrorists from returning to Australia. Those who want them back so that they can ply their evil, murderous trade in or from Australia should be named. Stay away you terrorists, you are not wanted or welcome here.

    25 REPLY
    • So you believe it’s okay for him to fiddle with the Australian Constitution without reference to the people.
      Because that is what he is doing.
      Read the Magna Carta and the Constitution and then decide what is right.

    • Ruth I hear what people are saying here but like you it worries me what he thinks he can do? If he gets away with this what next??

    • Under the Howard Government in 2005 after the wrongful detention of mentally ill Cornelia Rau, a German citizen holding Australian permanent residency who had been unlawfully detained for 11 months. What is to stop this from happening again but this time they will have citizenship taken off them

    • Okay ladies, then you will let them back to do whatever they want in this country and then what. Get a grip

    • I never said that Cheryl! I said it worries me that he thinks he can change rhe rules as he goes along without consultation.

    • Cheryl Holt
      Read what people are saying rather than putting your own interpretation into their words.

    • Ruth Hourigan, the Australian constitution has been so bastardised and fiddled with as it is, by the judiciary and new laws that are passed without the peoples knowledge or agreement, so why is it being referred to now by ignorant do gooders for traitors and murderers.
      Some twisted minds at work here.
      Lets put the Constitution back to how it should be first and remove the evil many politicians and the especially the judiciary (their corruption and greed) have already created, then we can look at what it says about traitors and treason.

    • Ken
      Because he is talking about taking citizenship away from people who are born here.
      What these people are doing is wrong and I don’t want them here stirring trouble and causing chaos and pain. But I also don’t want to see someone like Abbott have the right of life and death over people because he believes he is right.
      We all have a right to a fair trail and to defend ourselves. Take that away and we might as well be living in Nazi Germany or worse still, be living in Afghanistan or Syria where people are killed for no other reason than someone believes they are not worthy of living.

    • Maria Marie Gammon
      No laws are passed without the people’s knowledge.
      You can get access to all new laws that are presented to parliament. If you choose not to study these then that is your fault.
      Don’t blame someone else for what you can’t be bothered following.
      You can get access to the Hanson reports on the internet.
      Laws are not passed without first being given to the house of reps and then to the Senate. That takes weeks and months.
      As for changes to the Constitution, that is done by referendum.

    • If these terrorists are Australian, they need to be put before a court of law to determine, with out doubt, their guilt – if it is proven, then yes, throw the book at them – By the by, why isn’t that NT politician who went to Syria not in jail and define the limits of terrorism.

    • Cheryl Holt, the “ladies” are not the one being hysterical. They already have a grip – a grip on our constitution and legal system. I suggest you need to do some reading on the types of governments which allow individuals to influence or over rule the legal system. Totalitarian governments have always used national security as the reason for taking away individual rights. Do you really want Australia to be in their company? When any one individual’s rights are taken away we are all diminished. There is very good reason for our having a separation of power. This has been fought for over centuries, and won, and people like you now want to throw it away.

    • I dont want terrorists in Australia but i don’t believe Rabbott can just take the law into his hands he frightens me as much as the terrorists as if he gets away with one thing what will he do next he’s dangerous

    • We have a policy system. It consists of 3 parts. 1. The Executive 2. The Judiciary 3. The Legislative body. This is called the SEPARATION OF POWERS for very good, sound and just reasons. Ken the Prime Minister doesn’t ‘give’ citizenships out. He gives a piece of paper, he is a politician, he is head of the Executive part.

    • Ruth Hourigan are you that blind that you believe that the Constitution can’t be changed unless by referendum. There are many loop holes previous Governments have bastardised the Constitution with and brainwashing people is one of them.

    • Anne Churchill Buckner
      Are you so ignorant that you don’t even know the facts of your own countries constitution.
      If you are right then how about giving some factual examples of how the Constitution has been changed and bastardised.
      Put your money where your mouth is….

    • Ruth Hourigan, you live in a dream. Ask your favourite source to let you see the TPP. This document will be signed and we will have to wear it WITHOUT it passing through our parliament.

    • I assume under the present laws, anyone fighting against Australia’s interests would be arrested if they returned here and be incarcerated under the treason laws. There is a moot point however. Australia is supplying arms and assistance to a third country, therefore in effect these people are actually fighting against that third country, not directly against Australia. This is where it gets messy. Without recourse to law we would be acting unconstitutionally if we denied them citizenship. Another point. What happens to someone who is assisting ISIS medically? Is he a terrorist? Are his actions detrimental to Australia if he comes back and continues practicing medicine? This is not a cut and dried issue. It needs to be tested in court.

    • How do people determine it’s the majority, I don’t want ministers to have this power, I also don’t want terrorists back in australia but I want the laws o the land to deal with them, and wouldn’t it be better for the whole world to have these nutters locked up in prison than roaming the world chopping people’s heads off.

    • What does it mean for mercenaries? What does it mean if I send money to support freedom fighters in Papua? What if the government and the propaganda machine is lying to the public? As if that would ever happen…? We have a democracy based on separation of powers to protect the people, for gods sake please educate yourself

    • This is an age old strategy. Whip up fear in the minds of the gullible and then aks for unmonitored power to relieve you of the fear they have instigated. The constitution is there for a reason! Mainly because we cannot always trust people who lust for power (not nameing anyone!).

  3. I don’t usually agree with what he says but this time I do. We don’t want or need these people back here. They made their choice so they can live with it!

    2 REPLY
    • True Maureen, we don’t want or need them back in our country. Our taxes shouldn’t have to pay for legal/court time and their keep in prison either.

  4. He right you carnt trust them to come back here after being over there why did they go there in the first place they are evil end of story ,and any one that has faith in our justice system has got rocks in there heads

  5. This is one thing I totally agree with Sir Tony on!….give the terrorists the same justice they give us, NONE!!!!!… lives and lawyers fees….look at the Lindt Cafe….R.I.P..Justice?

  6. The same justice system that releases criminals into society to commit more crimes look around how often does it fail us? Daniel Morcombe would be alive now if they had not released his killer ! Wake up Australia it is the tree hugging minority’s trying to convince us that they are the majority these people make a decision to go fight over there with people that have a pure hatred of our society let them stay there who knows what they will do if let back here ISIS are not stupid they know how to infiltrate countries.

    1 REPLY
    • Not the point. Are we happy this PM wants to take over the role of the judiciary? How much more power are we willing to give him – especially in the light of his ramping up of fear, for his own political purposes? We should not be willing to be led by the nose by this moral bankrupt.

  7. The judiciary cannot be trusted? tell me what will you do when a Labor Government is back in power..and they will be at some point in time..are you Liberal voters going to be happy with an ALP Minister deciding on this? We need to leave these issues to the Judiciary, where they can be judge fairly on the evidence and without bias

    17 REPLY
    • Where they can be released due to a ‘technical’ glitch; Where they can be parolled to do what takes their fancy; where they can, when convicted fairly and without bias, appeal, appeal, appeal – probably on our purse because they need legal aid!!!!!!!!!! If we just say – you made the choice to leave you must live with that choice – PROBLEM SOLVED!

    • Then I gather you do not trust in our court system..I hope you never need the courts to decide anything and if you do I am sure you won’t be so hypocritical as to use the Judicial System 🙂

    • The. Court system has failed us so many times in the past. How can we possibly put the safety of Australian citizens at their mercy. The proof is in the pudding and why should the court system have to deal with these terrorists? And why should we have to pay for them to live a life of luxury in our gaol system. All at the Taxpayers cost. Why? Leave them over there where they are no longer our responsibility which was their own choice. and their wives and kids too!

    • I am not even suggesting we put them in goal, we pay huge money for those Island concentration camps..put them in their until the case to trial..why bring them to the mainland?

    • The tax payer is still finding them. Why? Leave them over there. It was their choice to leave. They chose to go fight, rape and murder. Why should we fund these people. They don’t belong in our society or neighbourhoods or schools with our kids

    • Off course we don’t trust the court system. Day after day see criminals and thugs and pedophiles released in to society. Police do a great job but the courts need a serious overhaul

    • I understand your point but as it stands at present the Judiciary are too bloody lenient. And due to their leniency they are constantly putting Australian lives in danger by making excuses for the criminals actions.
      There must be a way to override these pathetic decisions made by the courts. Doesn’t the GG have the power??

    • We all make our own choices in life and that’s ok BUT when it puts our country and people at risk than I say ..Tony leave them out of our country lock the doors and if anyone don’t like it lock them out as well ….well done Tony Abbott you are doing the right thing by us the people that voted you in well done again

    • For those of you who don’t trust the judiciary system, why should you trust one minister? Particularly one who has no legal background whatsoever. Peter Dutton’s closest encounter with the legal system was his 9 years as a cop in the drug squad. Would you trust his decisions before highly trained and educated lawyers, barristers and judges? Not me!

    • Judges are too not trust the legal system to protect us..look at lindt for example. Many lawyers fight to win cases and line their pockets not to protect society..

    • #JudyGreen and others who have this opinion.
      The decision to impose this penalty on a terrorist with dual citizenship will not be made lightly.
      The Minister Dutton will put his recommended decision forward and there will be others in a committee who will discuss the situation and action, before the final decision is made.
      He won’t be able to make this decision solely on his own. There would be too many consequences if it was a wrong judgement.

    • #Judy Kennedy – everything I’ve read has said the decision would be made by Dutton, nothing about a committee. Where can I find further info on this?

  8. So what he is saying is that our court system is no good and he wants to be the ultimate small step away totally controlling all of wary

    3 REPLY
    • Under the Howard Government in 2005 after the wrongful detention of mentally ill Cornelia Rau, a German citizen holding Australian permanent residency who had been unlawfully detained for 11 months. What is to stop this from happening again but this time they will have citizenship taken off think he was doing a great job? Same Liberal Government and that cost Australia big $

    • At this time he is only wanting to strip the dual citizens. The full Australian citizens will need to be looked at. And if they do get stripped so what, they chose to do these evil things and fight with these evil people so why can’t they stay there.

  9. So you go overseas and are suspected of being a terrorist so you are denied access back to your family.
    You aren’t a terrorist but you aren’t given the opportunity to prove that.
    Yeah; that sounds like justice…

  10. I do not have faith in the system my question is where is the justice for those whom they have killed raped and tortured. Sick of all the do gooders out there time Australia got a back bone and stop being a shiver trying to find one to run up. we must consider our own safety an old saying “you make your own bed now lie in it”. There are consequences in our action deal with it.

    3 REPLY
    • People will be raped and killed whether ISIS was in existence or not. Why aren’t you standing up for the Africans being killed by radical groups? It’s just as bad there as the Middle East.

    • For Australia to get a back bone it needs to stop following the USA into distant ears that are purely aimed at America expanding its reach and control and making billions of dollars for a few already filthy rich American billionaires such as Dick Cheney.

  11. Libbi, it’s a Legal system not a Justice system, look at the (Lindt Cafe) Psycho wandering the streets with a rap sheet longer than your arm was given BAIL!!! You have faith in the Legal system……

    3 REPLY
    • Yes sweetness but I do not feel comfortable with this at all and Monis mailed George Brandis and was ignored.. that was a case was a filled with errors from go to woe and people died

    • Under the Howard Government in 2005 after the wrongful detention of mentally ill Cornelia Rau, a German citizen holding Australian permanent residency who had been unlawfully detained for 11 months. What is to stop this from happening again but this time they will have citizenship taken off them

    • Leanna stop repeating yourself it has nothing to do with this, it is entirely different, these people are terrorists and have been fighting against our own soldiers, so you would let them back to kill hear would you.

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