Allan Reinikka

Government proposes new laws for terrorists

FEDERAL Attorney-General George Brandis will be meeting with state and territory attorney-generals in coming days to seek their support for laws that would keep dangerous convicted terrorists in jail for longer than their sentence.

Under the proposal, courts would be able to make an order for a convicted terrorist to stay in jail past their sentence expiry date if they are deemed high risk and have not shown they have rehabilitated.

Mr Brandis and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government wanted to introduce post-sentence preventative detention legislation as soon as possible.

Mr Turnbull said it would be similar to arrangements already in force in many states for sex offenders and violent individuals.

He said there was "very strong" support from premiers and chief ministers on making these changes.

A spokesman for Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath did not indicate whether she supported the changes but said she would be meeting with the Commonwealth and other states and territories to hear the proposal.

NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton said she welcomed the Federal Government's consistent national approach and looked forward to starting discussions.

Law Council of Australia president Stuart Clark said Parliament should proceed with caution. He said the details should be carefully assessed and that measures should only be used in the most serious circumstances.

Mr Turnbull also said the government intended to introduce a revised counter-terrorism amendment bill into Parliament "at the earliest opportunity".

This bill follows recommendations made by an intelligence and security parliamentary committee and will include reducing the control order for juveniles from 16 years old to 14.

"There is a real threat of terrorist incidents here in Australia but we do everything we can to ensure Australians are kept safe," Mr Turnbull said.


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