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Old 11-29-2005, 07:42 PM
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Default Law Society criticises NSW anti-terrorism bill

Last Update: Wednesday, November 30, 2005.

The New South Wales Law Society says while the State Government has watered down aspects of the Howard Government's counter-terrorism laws, the state-based bill is fundamentally flawed.

State MPs will debate the bill today, which allows the police to detain terrorist suspects for weeks at a time without charge.

Law Society president John McIntyre says while the New South Wales bill allows suspects to go to the Supreme Court and argue against their case, the normal rules of evidence do not apply and people can be held on the basis of hearsay and and suspicion.

"Therefore it's likely that applications could be made and granted on the basis of heresy, supposition, suspicion, evidence of that nature," he said.

He says while the Government claims the bill allows for people to be detained for up to 14 days without charge, there is a loophole that could see them held longer.

"Our analysis of this legislation suggests that under section 26k there is an opportunity for people to be subjected to further orders and they may effectively be detained for multiple periods of time and which could ultimately result in a very lengthy period of detention," he said.

Unlike the federal laws, it is not an offence for a suspect to tell a family member or friend that they are being detained.

ABC News
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