Prof George Williams1-edited

Australia: ASIO seen as serious threat to innocent citizens

This mornings Sydney Morning Herald carried an article on the threat that Australia’s domestic spy agency ASIO poses to innocent Australian citizens. The highly respected law academic, George Williams AO  (photo above), who is the Anthony Mason Professor at the Tobin Centre of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, has heavily criticized the draconian laws and powers that ASIO currently enjoy’s, saying  ”The powers are more consistent with the apparatus of a police state, such as General Pinochet’s Chile, than the laws of a modern democracy,”……..”They have no place in Australia, should be repealed.”

THE powers of Australia’s domestic spy agency, ASIO, are rotten at their core, could be used against innocent Australians by an unscrupulous government and should be repealed, the law professor George Williams has warned.

Launching a campaign last night to wind back the ”excessive and disproportionate powers” given to ASIO since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Professor Williams said that collectively the laws ”represent the greatest assault on civil liberties in Australia since World War II”.

Professor Williams, the Anthony Mason professor of law at the University of NSW, was speaking at the NSW Council for Civil Liberties dinner in Sydney where a national campaign to roll back the nation’s anti-terrorism laws was unveiled.

The anti-terrorism laws have sunset clauses which come into effect in 2016. At that time they can be repealed, amended or made permanent.
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