Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Torturous arguments 

A minor controversy in Australia - the head of the Deakin University Law School, Professor Mirko Bagaric has co-authored a paper, which argues that torture should be legalized in certain emergency, life-and-death circumstances, such as imminent and deadly terrorist attack. A controversial stance (at least amongst the intelligencia), but nothing new, and certainly nothing that Professor Dershowitz has already not written about.

Professor Bagaric also sits on the Government’s Refugee Review Tribunal, which among other things, hears appeals against decisions to refuse refugee status and deport people from Australia. This prompted Greens Senator Kerry Nettle to call for Bagaric’s sacking from the Tribunal:
"I don't think that somebody who puts forward a view that torture should be legalised is somebody that I would want making decisions about whether people are being treated properly in detention centres in this country.”
It's a bit of a stretch to suggest that because somebody who advocates torturing terrorists in certain circumstances cannot hear cases involving refugees who might have themselves been tortured - but in any case, Bagaric has already stood down from the Tribunal.

By the way, Senator Nettle and her Green colleague Senator Brown have done their darnest to try to prevent the liberation and thus the democratization of Iraq. I don’t think that somebody who puts forward a view that millions of people should languish under a brutal dictator is somebody that I would want to sit in Parliament making democratic decisions for me and other Australians. But the few percent who voted for Senator Nettle apparently don’t see any contradiction.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?