Where’s my ‘bulwark against tyranny’?

I am am perplexed as to why nothing more has been made of the treatment of Izhar ul-Haque. There is so little little discussion of this case (or lack of it) both in the traditional media and in the blogosphere*, that I have actually felt like starting my failed blog again.

Izhar ul Haque is an Australian who was, at one stage, charged with receiving training from a ‘terrorist organisation’. The organisation with which he may have trained with was not deemed a terrorist organisation at the time that he trained with them, but that is not the reason why the charges were eventually dismissed in the Supreme Court of NSW. Rather, the dismissal of the case against Ul-Haque is about the unlawful conduct of the ASIO and AFP officers investigating the case against Ul-Haque.

Justice Adams concludes that the case against Ul-Haque can’t be sustained in light of the unlawful frightening and intimidating behaviour of the agents involved. Indeed, the focus shoud be on the conduct of the agents – Justice Adams says;

‘I am satisfied that that [B15] and [B16] committed the criminal offences of false imprisonment and kidnapping at common law and also an offence under s86 of the Crimes Act 1900. It follows, a fortiori, that they committed the tort of false imprisonment. Their conduct was grossly improper and constituted an unjustified and unlawful interference with the personal liberty of the accused…[B15 and B16’s] conduct … also constituted an unlawful trespass.’

He goes on to quote Justice Michael Kirby, who emphasises the importance of mandated powers and judicial checks on these powers:

‘Any officer of the Commonwealth executive who, without judicial warrant, purports to authorise or enforce the detention in custody of another person is acting lawfully only to the extent that his conduct is justified by clear statutory mandate…It cannot be too strongly stressed that these basic matters are not the stuff of empty rhetoric. They are the very fabric of the freedom under the law which is the prima facie right of every citizen and alien in this land. They represent a bulwark against tyranny.’

Pretty strong stuff, hey? I find it interesting and perplexing that I can’t find any record of them being charged with these offences. I am not sure whose domain it would be to charge them, or whether it would be possible to suppress reporting of those charges.

But I don’t understand why it seems to have just disappeared …

* For example, Jeremy Sear has nothing, and neither does LP

update: Going back to 2007, there is more on the Ul-Haque case by Clare Macken here. And the case is also mentioned in the Monthly more recently.


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