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Former Australia chief justice denounces anti-terrorism laws

[JURIST] Former Australian High Court [official website] chief justice Sir Gerard Brennan [profile] Wednesday denounced anti-terrorism laws [text] being used to detain an Indian doctor [press release] believed to be connected to last week's attempted terror attacks [JURIST report] in London and Glasgow. Dr. Mohammed Haneef has been held in Australian police custody since Sunday, when he was stopped as he was about to board a flight to Malaysia. Brennan said the laws under which Haneef is being held are vague and that he is concerned about language that "brands advancing a religious cause as an element in a heinous crime." Brennan also described provisions in the laws as "draconian," saying they threaten individual liberty.

In December 2006, a Australian parliamentary panel called for independent review [JURIST report] of the anti-terror laws. In November, Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official website] rejected a civil rights bill proposed by the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) [official website], saying it limited the government's ability to deal with terrorism [JURIST report]. AAP 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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