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Flustered pidgeons

Well hasn’t the little speech by Kevin Andrews put the cat among the pigeons of the more loony left? It seems to me that one thing that we can be sure of is that the usual suspects, are having conniptions about this matter but more sensible heads on both sides of politics are saying that the government is doing the right thing here. Firstly the gist of the matter from the Australian.

However, Mr Faris said the case showed the terrorism and immigration laws were working.

“People need to understand there’s two streams here: one is the criminal prosecution, and one is his immigration position,” Mr Faris said.

“They’re not the same thing, even though they have common facts.

“It’s not uncommon for people who are not Australian citizens, if they’re charged with a serious offence and only here on a visa, to have the visa revoked.

“If we see people who’ve got a connection like he has to a terrorist group, well, obviously we wouldn’t let them come in here.”

Mr Andrews said he acted under Section 501 of the Migration Act, which allows for the cancellation of a visa where a person fails the character test.

“Based on information and advice I’ve received from the Australian Federal Police, I reasonably suspect Dr Haneef has had an association with persons involved in criminal conduct, namely terrorism,” the Immigration Minister said.

Dr Haneef’s defence lawyer, Peter Russo, said last night that he would appeal against Mr Andrews’s decision to cancel the visa and apply to the Federal Court for a review of the decision.

“The only association (with terrorism) identified by the federal police, as part of their criminal allegation, is the giving of an SIM card,” Mr Russo said. “There is no allegation that Dr Haneef knew that the person to whom he gave the SIM card was part of a terrorist organisation.

“The highest the allegation was put was that he was reckless in that respect.”

Dr Haneef remained in the Brisbane Watchhouse last night. He has been held there since July4.

A spokeswoman for Mr Andrews said it was likely Dr Haneef would remain there for a few days while arrangements were made to transfer him to Villawood.

(The Australian)

Andrew Bartlett is one of those suspects and he seems to be playing very much to his Muslim constituents here.

This is a classic example of why I campaigned so long to reform the Migration Act to limit the enormously broad, undefined personal powers of the Minister to use their own discretion to lock people, even when they have been convicted of no crime. There are more than enough examples around the world to show why there are few things more dangerous than a government Minister being able to unilaterally decide that someone should be indefinitely detained without charge or conviction. It should be emphasised that Dr Haneef has not been charged with anything under the Migration Act, and no evidence has been presented to the public or a court showing why his character was such that his visa should be cancelled. If is charge regarding giving his SIM card to his cousin was dropped tomorrow, it would have no direct affect on the Immigration Minister’s decision.

No Andrew It wouldn’t but It would mean that Haneef could be immediately deported back to India and freedom. Personally I think that given the nature of terrorism that we would be in more danger if the minister did not have the power and duty to act as he has.

My long time sparring partner Jeremy Sear takes a similar line to the good Senator but he tries to make his point with sarcasm

Yes, having such relatives is a damning indictment on Haneef’s “character”. I mean that’s almost as bad as if he’d actually done something vaguely criminal himself! It’s like being gay – people CHOOSE to be gay, and people CHOOSE to be related to terrorist suspects. It’s entirely his own fault. It’s not as if you’re “born” related to your family, after all.(Jeremy Sear)

Gavin R. Putland, another fine legal mind, seems rather concerned that Haneef will not be able to sue the government should he be “exonerated”

Her Worship may now contemplate her importance in the scheme of things. As she toiled through the weekend assessing Dr Haneef’s bail application, she might have thought she was deciding whether he was to be released pending his trial. Now she knows that the only issue before her was whether the continued detention of Dr Haneef was to be a judicial decision, or a political decision. If not in law, then at least in fact, she and her court have been treated with contempt.

While the purported “charge” against Dr Haneef is no longer needed for the purpose of detaining him, it has achieved at least one result: it allowed his formal arrest, so that he can no longer sue the media for repeatedly stating that he had been arrested when, as yet, he had only been detained. That diminishes his chances of getting any compensation in the event of his exoneration. Ingenious.

Copyright © Gavin R. Putland except as otherwise attributed. Originally posted at Leges Dubiae under the title Haneef: So much for the separation of powers. You may republish this item verbatim on your website or blog provided that (a) you include this notice (with hyperlinks), and (b) you re-host any embedded graphics (or otherwise comply with the host’s guidelines).

But out here in the real world we operate very much more on the precautionary principle that expects that the ministers of our government will be ever mindful of the need to protect it’s citizens against the possibility that visiting non citizens could pose a threat to our peace and safety. We do not have “open Borders” in this country and like your average household, we as a nation, have a right to say who comes in and the right to revoke their invitation to stay at any time. Haneef may ultimately be exonerated of the charge that he now faces but let’s not pretend that it is not a serious matter, as so many of the civil liberties crowd would have you believe.


5 Comments

  1. Madd McColl says:

    Gawd Iain the ‘precautionary principle’? Is this the same principle that’s so often rejected by you guys in regards to AGW?

    Yes Iain it’s a serious matter, but as yet there’s clearly not enough proof to even detain him without bail. He is thus far guilty by association only and not even Andrews can assure us that that association is ‘sinister’ in nature.

    ‘I would say that due process with regard to Haneef’s visa has been properly fulfilled . The fact that you do not like the result is rather moot as both Labor and the Coalition agree that this is the correct course of action means that even a change of government will not change the result.

    Exactly how has due process been properly fulfilled? They revoked his visa only after the magistrate granted him bail and straight after I might add, so clearly they’re trying to get around the fact that they don’t have any incriminating evidence thus far and they want him detained anyway. What do you expect of Labor they’re in the middle of an election year so of course they find nothing wrong with it.

    You’re clearly in support of the idea that any foreign worker on a 457 visa who’s show to be related to, or to have had an ‘association’ with, a suspect OS should have their visa revoked and be locked up.

    I suspect that as long as it’s a Muslim they’re detaining you’ll always find that due process has been fulfilled.

  2. Iain says:

    No MM I do not care what their religion is,l if this chap was Tamil who had given support to the Tigers of Tamil Elam My feelings would be the same.
    Cheers
    Iain

  3. If Haneef is compensated in the event of his ultimate exoneration, how does that compromise the “precautionary principle”, or “pose a threat to our peace and safety”, or constitute a pretense that it would not have been a “serious matter” had he been guilty??

    In general, what purpose is served by failing to compensate the innocent — except to punish them for failing to fit the pigeonhole into which the government wanted to place them?

  4. Iain says:

    Welcome to my Blog Gavin 🙂
    Surely as a man of the law you must know that Haneef would not be entitled to compensation for such a ministerial decision.
    One thing that you will be aware of is the fact that the case against him collapsed is no exoneration in the same sense that an acquittal would have been.
    I suspect that you are one of those who believes that the threat from the Jihadists is not as significant as it actually is personally though if Haneef were to ultimately be paid “compensation” I would consider it a small price to pay to ensure that any non-citizen who comes here is not a potential terrorist.
    Cheers

  5. Dear Iain,

    1. I am not a lawyer.

    2. Being acquitted is not an exoneration. It merely indicates that the accusation has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The accused remains tainted for life. Winning a defamation suit is not an exoneration either. It merely indicates that the accusation has not been proven on the balance of probabilities. The accused again remain tainted for life. Yet in the latter case, the law not only grants compensation, but grants it at the expense of the accuser — not the taxpayer. But a case that collapses before committal is weaker than one that goes to trial and ends in an acquittal. So if you think an acquittal is an exoneration, you should also think the dropping of charges is an exoneration.

    3. As compensation for wrongly accused persons would not compromise the fight against jihadists — and indeed might help it by depriving the jihadists of rallying points — my evident support for such compensation is not evidence that I play down the threat from jihadists. Furthermore, even if I were to indulge in comparisons between the number of people killed by jihadists and the numbers killed by other factors, that would not be evidence that I wish to play down the threat from jihadists; it would be equally consistent with the hypothesis that I wish to play UP the threats from other sources.

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