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The Forum > Article Comments > Preventative detention orders: the horse has already bolted > Comments

Preventative detention orders: the horse has already bolted : Comments

By Patrick Keyzer, published 4/11/2005

Patrick Keyzer argues preventive detention orders are likely to be constitutionally valid.

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The thought of Federal Parliament having a sniff of parliamentary supremacy without a Bill of Rights standing in its way is enough to make you want to bend over and puke.
Posted by ritchyg, Friday, 4 November 2005 10:45:52 AM
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Given the recent prison term served by the redhead in the sunshine state it may not be wise to quote Mr Beattie on anything. His legal advice would seem to be worthless.

And may we, the great unwashed, sit in judgement of our high court. When will the high court judge who offended the NSW Crimes Act 1901 for 13 continuous years remove himself from the bench. Until that happens the high court is tainted.
Posted by Sage, Friday, 4 November 2005 7:12:41 PM
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Itís a shame that such a well thought out and educated piece of comment such as this will soon be discussed and ridiculed by intellectual troglodytes in their never ending quest to make sense of themselves to themselves. They'll accuse him of being Leftist, elitist, and humanitarian and then descend into their usual debates with others about how nihilistic short sightedness and ignorant they are. This is what re-elected Howard and what infests Labor culture. Watch it all unfold before your eyes -again.
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Posted by Rainier, Saturday, 5 November 2005 2:58:36 PM
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Part 1
In comparing the Howard preventative detention laws for suspected terroists and the QLD Govts laws to detain dangerous prisoners some important facts need to be made clear.

Prior to the introduction of the Queensland Act there already existed state legislation that enabled indefinite detention of sex offenders. (Criminal Law Amendment Act 1945) However it was limited in its capacity to deal with all situations.

An order for continued detention could be made at either sentencing or during the prisoners term.

However there were two preconditions, the prisoner had to be medically incapable of controlling their sexual urges and be capable of treatment.

This meant that a prisoner who was capable of controlling sexual urges but had a psychological disorder (not psychiatric) or chose not to control his actions could not be detained.

It also meant that a prisoner with a medical condition that led to him not being able to control his urges and where medical science had no treatment could not be detained.
Posted by slasher, Sunday, 6 November 2005 9:31:41 AM
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Part 2
The Queensland laws mentioned by Patrick cannot be applied unless you have first of all been found gulty through due process of law. It then will only come about if the prisoner is assessed as having a high risk factor of reoffending, again this is argued before the courts with full appeal rights.

In our justice system each sentence serves three purposes, punishment, community protection and rehabilitation.

At the time of sentencing the factor relating to punishment is the easiest to determine. Community safety and rehabilitation is the most difficult. That is why over time we have seen the evolution of the parole system. Generally parole becomes eligible at the half way point of the head sentence. The prisoner is assessed by a board independant of the executive government that comprises legal, medical/psychological and community representatives. They determine if the prisoner is safe to go back into the community.

Judges can have some idea of the prospects of minimising community risk and maximising rehabilitation prospects which they use to determine the head sentence but the likelihood that they can some years in advance accurately make this judgement is unlikely, hence the parole board.

All the QLD legislation does is take this assessment of community risk one step further for specific types of offenders. In all good conscious how can anyone object to a system that says for serious sex offenders who have been assessed (usually more than once) by the parole boards that they pose too great a risk of being released into the community that a court will determine if they should remain in prison.

This is vastly different to the Federal Proposals to detain people who may not have even committed an offence.

Is the purpose of the federal proposal to remove a risk from the community or to interrogate potential suspects without public scrutiny? In the Queensland law the person subject to the proposed continued detention has the right to legal representation at all times not so with the federal preventative detention laws.
Posted by slasher, Sunday, 6 November 2005 9:33:40 AM
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The current application of law allows those so detained, as in Fardon v Attorney General, to have contact with legal advisors,family, the press, etc. As I haven't seen the text of the new proposed laws, I can only guess as to their content. If I am detained, I may only call someone to say "I'm Safe", and after two weeks, if I am allowed to return to real life, I cannot tell anyone where I've been or what I've been doing.
History shows that this level of power held by governments is always, always eventually abused. Is a police state really necessary for our safety? Is it wise to tempt government (made up of the merely human) into a descent into tyrrany? Look up the Stanford Prison Experiments. Read The Gulag Archipelago.
Be very afraid of this legislation.
Posted by Aunty Ism, Monday, 7 November 2005 11:44:22 AM
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