Freedom of Press in the New Australian Security State

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Publication Type:
Journal Article
UNSW Law Journal, 2005, 28 (3), pp. 900 - 908
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On 14 October 2005, the Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, John Stanhope, published on his official website2 a copy of the draft Anti- Terrorism Bill 2005 (Cth) proposed by the Australian government to the states, and intended for general publication after 31 October 2005 and enactment before the end of the year. The copy was labelled DRAFT IN CONFIDENCE , and as soon as news of its publication reached the Prime Minister s office, there were concerted attempts by that office and senior bureaucrats to have it taken down.3 Those attempts failed and, in the days that followed, a chorus of analysis and criticism swelled nationally and internationally, including from former Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser (Liberal) and Gough Whitlam (Labor), former Chief Justices Brennan and Mason of the High Court, the Law Council of Australia, Human Rights Watch, legal academics, various associations of lawyers, Nobel Laureate novelist J M Coetzee and other cultural identities, community groups, and journalists.
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