Labor hedging on terror, says Abbott

Posted February 14th, 2019 by admin and filed in 杭州夜生活
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Mr Abbott confirmed on Thursday that laws allowing the immigration minister to strip the Australian citizenship of dual nationals suspected of terrorism would go to the coalition party room next Tuesday and the parliament after that.


While the bill’s details have yet to be released, it’s come under fire for potentially breaching the separation of powers between ministers and courts, and not providing enough legal checks and balances.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said Labor supported the idea of extending existing citizenship powers dealing with Australians who fight for other nation states to those who fight for terrorist groups.

But the opposition is uncomfortable with giving a minister the power to act against a person who has not been convicted of a terror offence.

Asked how the law should apply to an Australian fighting in Syria, Mr Dreyfus told Sky News on Thursday: “You get them back here.”

Mr Abbott told reporters the laws were intended to stop terrorists from returning to Australia.

“We are going to keep terrorists out where they’re dual nationals and it seems the opposition wants to … roll out the red carpet for them,” he said.

Mr Abbott said the final draft of the bill would not be brought back to cabinet for approval before going to parliament, as a “clear decision” about stripping citizenship had been endorsed by cabinet already.

The government had taken legal advice from different sources and was confident constitutional risk could be minimised.

“Does that mean that no one will bring court cases? Of course it doesn’t,” Mr Abbott said.

Opposition immigration spokesman Richard Marles said it wasn’t just Labor that had concerns with the bills but a number of cabinet ministers and constitutional lawyers.

Mr Marles said the government had also failed to clarify how the citizenship laws interact with foreign fighters laws.

“The foreign fighters legislation has people being Australian citizens as part of the ground upon which they are able to be prosecuted,” he said.

The Labor caucus won’t consider the bill until at least August 11, unless a special meeting is called next week.

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