Apr 27, 2010

Barns: anti-people smuggling law flawed and innocents will suffer

ASIO's powers will be greatly expanded under the government's new anti-people smuggling laws. Courts have to send people to jail for no less than three years or five years if they are involved in people smuggling.

Greg Barns — Barrister and writer

Greg Barns

Barrister and writer

It’s not just Arizonian legislators who are so paranoid about migration that they feel the need to introduce  laws that substantially increase the powers of security agencies and extend criminal liability to the innocent. The Rudd government, supported by the Liberal Party, is just as illiberal on the issue if the Anti-People Smuggling Bill, currently before a Senate Committee that is due to report back to parliament on May 11, is any guide.

The Arizona law, signed into law by the State’s Republican governor Jan Brewer last weekend, forces individuals to carry migration documentation on them at all times, allows the police to determine a person’s migration status and provides for severe penalties for those who hire “illegal” migrants.  President Barak Obama describes the Arizona law as one that “threaten[s] to undermine basic notions of fairness”.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

One thought on “Barns: anti-people smuggling law flawed and innocents will suffer

  1. Tom McLoughlin

    Yes. As suggested by the reflections on MI5 methods in Spycatcher, a really good national security agency achieves alot more with very well researched analysis behind their day long questionings, and a cup of tea for the target of their interrogation. No need for renditions, no need for repeal of habeas corpus.

    And another thing, since when did good transparent process detract from national security? The open adversarial process for domestic law is extremely useful in synthesising the truth of a matter, but ASIO seem to approach things in secret as if that could ever shake out the best information for national security.

    If that were really true we would have a star chamber legal system, not open courts. Is the truth of the matter really that ASIO is lazy?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details