• Publication Date: December 5, 2007
  • EAN: 9781862876743
  • 272 pages; 6" x 8⅝"
Filed Under: Criminal Law

Law and Liberty in the War on Terror


Product Description

How can we ensure national security against people unafraid to kill themselves along with their victims – people who, self-evidently, will not be deterred by traditional laws which punish offenders after their crimes are committed. This is the challenge for liberal democracies such as Australia.

New laws specifically designed to forestall terrorist activity have been a key response. Law and Liberty in the War on Terror describes these laws and debates both their effectiveness and impact on civil liberties.

International and domestic commentators from the fields of government, law and political science address questions such as:

How does the law define ‘terrorism’?

Can the criminal justice system accommodate preparatory terrorism offences?

Is torture ever acceptable as an interrogative method?

What is the role of the judiciary in times of emergency?

How do Australia’s anti-terrorism laws compare with those of the United Kingdom and New Zealand?

How are Australian communities and politics affected by responses to terrorism?

"[I] n this book, proponents of the new anti-terrorism laws seek to justify their provisions and opponents argue that the laws go too far. These chapters also show the extent of the changes that have been made to our legal and administrative structures. … The chapters in this book cannot be dismissed as mere academic analyses. They have to do with the lives and aspirations of all Australians. They ask whether Australia is, and whether it will be, a united, secure, free and confident nation." – Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE, former Chief Justice of Australia

Foreword – Sir Gerard Brennan

Part I – Law’s Role in the Response to Terrorism

Law as a Preventative Weapon against Terrorism

Philip RuddockLegality and Emergency – The Judiciary in a Time of Terror

David Dyzenhaus and Rayner Thwaites

The Curious Element of Motive in Definitions of Terrorism: Essential Ingredient or Criminalising Thought?

Ben Saul

The Case for Defining Terrorism with Restraint and Without Reference to Political or Religious Motive

Kent Roach

Part II – Criminalising Terrorism – How Far Should the Law Go?

The Effectiveness of Criminal Laws onTerrorism

Robert Cornall

Preparation for Terrorism: Catastrophic Risk and Precautionary Criminal Law

Andrew Goldsmith

Australia’s Terrorism Offences – A Case Against

Patrick Emerton

Reconciling Security and the Right to a Fair Trial: The National Security Information Act in Practice

Stephen Donaghue

Preserving National Security in the Courtroom: A New Battleground

Phillip Boulten

Part III – Beyond Guilt or Innocence – Preventative Orders and Counter-Terrorism

Control Orders and Preventative Detention – Why Alarm is Misguided

Geoff McDonald

A Judicial Perspective – The Making of Preventative Detention Orders

Margaret White

The Constitutional Validity of Prevention Detention

James Renwick

Part IV – Human Rights and Terrorism: Is a Trade-off Necessary?

When are Restrictions on Speech Justified in the War on Terror?

Katharine Gelber

Torture: The Fallacy of the Ticking Bomb

Sarah Joseph

Torture: What it is, Will it Work and Can it be Justified?

Neil James

Part V – Australia’s Response Compared

Counter-Terrorism Law in New Zealand

Alex Conte

The United Kingdom’s Anti-terrorism Laws: Lessons for Australia

Clive Walker

Part VI – The Politics of Australia’s Terrorism Debate

Muslim Communities: Their Voice in Australia’s Terrorism Laws and Policies

Waleed Aly

News Media Responsibilities in Reporting on Terrorism

Tanja Dreher

Part VII – Terrorism and the Rule of Law

Achieving Security, Respecting Rights and Maintaining the Rule of Law

Andrew Lynch


The book provides the first comprehensive and in-depth treatment of some of the most pressing questions and challenges Australia faces when responding to the threat of terrorism. The editors…have performed a fine job in organising the difference contributions into a coherent and interesting whole.

Law and Liberty and the War on Terror is an excellent volume containing a long-overdue analysis of key questions of Australia’s counter-terrorism law and policy…this book is a must for anyone interested in the challenges and problems of Australian counter-terrorism law and policy. It deserves wide readership. – UNSW Law Journal, Volume 31(1), 2008

Overall this is an impressive book on the subject. It provides a balanced commentary on legal reform in Australia in response to the events on September 2001 and beyond. It is generally an accessible book, which can be appreciated by legal practitioners and those in the broader community. It is recommended for any collection that would benefit from a comprehensive commentary on this controversial and constantly evolving issue. – Australian Law Librarian, Vol 16 No 2, 2008

The topics covered are broad, ranging from suppression of free speech to control orders and preventative detention. …similarly, the contributors cover a broad spectrum, including barristers, politicians, judges, bureaucrats, academics and at least one former army interrogator. As is appropriate, the views of Australia’s former chief law officer, Phillip Ruddock, are also presented.

…this collection provides an important grounding in the debates which will continue for a while to come. It will also be a necessary reminder when the specific events have been forgotten. – Andrew Field, Law Institute Journal of Victoria, December 2008

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