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Former Australian PM bashes new anti-terror laws

[JURIST] Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser [official profile] Wednesday voiced his strong opposition to new anti-terrorism proposals [draft law text, PDF] from current Prime Minister John Howard [official profile], which were leaked [JURIST report] by an Australian state leader earlier this month. The laws allow up to 14 days of "preventive detention" and planned control orders, which Fraser argues will not effectively prevent terrorism. Fraser called the laws arbitrary, saying there were no adequate judicial review measures in place, and argued that the laws are based on a trust that the Australian government "has not earned." Fraser, also a member of Howard's Liberal Party, called the process of introducing the reforms "seriously flawed" and commented, "Instead of wide-ranging discussions, the government has sought to nobble the field in secret and to prevent debate." Earlier this week, Howard said he would not be swayed toward weakening the anti-terrorism measures [JURIST report], despite voiced criticism against the laws [JURIST report] by civil liberties groups. UPI has more. From Melbourne, the Age has local coverage.

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