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Australian PM sending law advisers to states to ease concerns over anti-terror bill

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] announced Tuesday that he plans to send his top legal advisers to address state governments' concerns about the constitutionality of that country's proposed anti-terror law [draft law text, PDF; JURIST report]. Several reservations center around a legislative provision authorizing courts to detain individuals who have not been accused or convicted of any crime. Constitutional lawyers critical of the legislation argue the provisions confuse the role of judges in Australia's criminal justice system, and would deprive terror suspects of due process of law. Howard and his legal advisers have defended the bill [JURIST report], contending it is a necessary measure and does not violate Austrialia's constitution. Australia's Sydney Morning Herald 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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