The Federal Government has proposed an overhaul of Australia’s national security laws that include strengthening police powers and creating new terrorism offences.
The proposed reforms include giving police “emergency powers” to enter a building without a warrant, making terrorism hoaxes punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and making violence against a person on the basis of race and religion a crime.
Also, the discussion paper proposes to allow a right of appeal for both the prosecution and defence against bail decisions and establishing a parliamentary committee to oversee the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission.
A parliamentary committee is a very thin safeguard against the misuse of anti-terror laws. The members of such a committee would be political operators and would be guided by their respective political parties.