LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – In a speech that has stunned the Australia’s legal fraternity, Sir Gerard Brennan outlined circumstances when the risk of terror justified laws that eroded common law rights, The Weekend Australian reports.
He told the nation’s lawyers that while they generally knew about crime, they knew little about terrorism and they should not automatically oppose any law that “trespasses on one of the values of the common law”.
Sir Gerard, who retired in 1998, said “incursions on the rule of law may be essential to combat the risk of terror”.
But he warned “only a modicum of freedom can be traded for security without affecting the rule of law”.
When new incursions were made on individual freedom or common law values are eroded, it was necessary for governments to provide some justification, he said.