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Australia announces proposed tightening of anti-terror laws

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] on Thursday outlined tough new anti-terror laws that would give police great power to electronically track suspects and detain them for up to 48 hours. Howard offered details on the proposal at a news conference [full transcript] ahead of a meeting [JURIST report] of the Council of Australian Governments [official website] later this month to discuss methods to combat terrorism. In addition to increasing police powers, the proposed law would make it a crime to incite violence in the community or against Australian soldiers overseas, Howard said. The law would also tighten citizenship requirements in Australia [JURIST news archive], establishing a three-year period instead of two years for immigrants to gain citizenship. Civil rights groups in the country have criticized the proposals, arguing that they grant too much power to police to detain people without charge and to track people. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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