The Courier-Mail

HOUGHTONON RIGHTS PETER OUT

JOJOHNSON

- Paul.syvret@news.com.au

a degree of responsibi­lity for our citizens, whether they act beyond the law or not. We can’t just draw a line and suddenly disown them as no longer Australia’s problem.

After all, Australia spent some years and untold diplomatic energy lobbying for clemency on behalf of a couple of young blokes who were caught red-handed and duly convicted of trying to smuggle 8kg of heroin out of Indonesia.

Despite their clear and judicially tested guilt, and the gravity of the offence, we continued to treat them as our own and deserving of life rather than the death penalty.

Not all crimes are equal, but citizenshi­p is.

The second point is, the more we grant in the way of arbitrary powers of detention and indeed citizenshi­p, the further we undermine the very freedoms that we claim to be defending against the likes of ISIS.

This is not to argue for a soft response to a very real threat but rather an argument in favour of due process, the supremacy of the courts and the right of any individual to a fair and open hearing – the very things that set us apart as a free and democratic nation.

I’m with Joyce on this. We already have legal structures in place to deal with errant citizenry.

Allowing Dutton to morph into Judge Dredd would be a deeply retrograde step.

 ??  ?? DANGEROUS PLAN: Allowing Immigratio­n Minister Peter Dutton (left, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott) to unilateral­ly declare someone a non-citizen would effectivel­y elevate one man to the status of judge, jury and executione­r of identity.
DANGEROUS PLAN: Allowing Immigratio­n Minister Peter Dutton (left, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott) to unilateral­ly declare someone a non-citizen would effectivel­y elevate one man to the status of judge, jury and executione­r of identity.

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