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Australia top court upholds control order against terror suspect

[JURIST] The High Court of Australia [official website] upheld an interim control order against Joseph Terrence Thomas [advocacy website] Thursday, accepting the government's argument [JURIST report] and ruling that the control order provision of a controversial anti-terror law [ANS backgrounder] is constitutional because it is supported by the government's "defense power" [judgment]. Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official website] welcomed the ruling, saying on ABC Radio [media website] that the ruling puts the anti-terror laws "beyond doubt."

Thomas, who was detained in Pakistan in 2003, was initially convicted [JURIST report] of receiving funds from an al Qaeda associate, but successfully appealed [JURIST report; judgment] the conviction in August 2006 because authorities interviewed Thomas against his will and denied him access to a lawyer. The Australian government then imposed a control order [JURIST report], which Thomas appealed [JURIST report] last October. Section 51(vi) [text] of the Australian constitution gives the parliament the authority to enact laws for the "control of forces to execute and maintain the laws of the Commonwealth." 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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