Aus govt to propose new anti-terrorism laws


Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a proposal that could allow for potential terrorists to be 'detained indefinitely'.

Under yet to be released plans for new laws to be implemented at a state and territory government level, convicted terrorists could be kept in jail once their sentences have finished. Prisoners' sentences would be reviewed periodically and they could continue to be detained if they are deemed to pose a risk to the community.

Mr Turnbull believes the plan would receive significant support from Australia's public in light of recent tragedies, according to ABC News reports.

"In the wake of Orlando, Nice and other terrorist incidents - as well as our own experience since September 2014, resulting in the charging of 44 persons - we cannot for a moment be complacent," Mr Turnbull said.

The proposal, which is yet to be refined, would "balance the need to keep the community safe with [Australia's] commitment to privacy and the rights of the individual," Mr Turnbull said.

"Together the measures we are announcing today are designed to deter terrorism, prevent it, ensure that the nation and our people are kept safe and to provide reassurance that Australians can and should continue going about their daily lives and enjoying their freedom in the usual way."

Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said the process would be supervised by a judge and will be pending medical and psychological assessments. Prisoner behaviours, like willingness to participate in rehabilitation programs, will also be taken into account.

Anti-terror legislation expert and Dean of Law at the University of New South Wales George Williams told AM the laws for detention beyond sentencing should only apply in the most extreme cases.

"I'm always reluctant to go down the path of these type of measures, but I think on this occasion this can be justified if it's done in the right way, and the detail really does matter," Professor Williams said.

"If we have people who can be shown to continue to pose a demonstrable risk, if it is determined by a judge not by a minister, if there's also periodic review, and if it only applies to offenders who have already been convicted of very serious crimes - then yes, I think it can be justified."