Australia Bans Returning IS Fighters

Dear Reader,

Since this post is on the last Saturday of the month, I will be discussing the policy of one foreign country.

Australia

The Australian government has decided to pass laws to ban citizens who left the country to fight for the Islamic State from re-entering the country for upto two years.

The Bills have been passed by the Parliament of Australia. The law will allow such a citizen to return after 2 years under a 12 month long return permit. The granting of the permit would include conditions relating to when and how the person enters the country and they may also have to register where they live, work or study and any plans to travel within Australia or abroad. The permit could also include conditions around using technology.

Leftist Analysis:

In Australia the left-wing party is the Labour Party. They initially opposed this law. They criticized the law because it allowed the Home Minister to make exclusion orders of returning citizens, without judicial oversight.

The leftist ideology supports a more merciful policy taken towards terrorists. Leftists believe that citizens who join foreign terrorist organizations like IS, can and must be allowed back into the country and reformed.

The Labor Party, eventually voted in favour of this law in the Senate, because although it went against their political ideology, they believed that it was a necessary law to pass for the security of the nation.

This law was criticized by the left-wing party and went against the principles of leftism. Therefore it is not a left-wing law.

Rightist Analysis

In Australia the right-wing party is the Liberal Party who are in power in the government. They brought in this law. They defended the law against criticism from Labour, claiming that the Home Minister must be able to make exclusion orders swiftly, and would be encumbered if he had to do so under judicial oversight.

The rightist ideology supports a less merciful policy towards terrorists. Rightists believe that citizens who join foreign terrorist organizations like IS cannot and must not be allowed back into the country, and cannot be reformed.

The Liberal Party eventually passed the law in Parliament, because they have a majority in the House of Representatives, and could convince the Senate to vote for it even though Labour has a majority in it, by convincing them that it was a necessary law for the security of the nation.

The law was supported by the right-wing party, and went along with the principles of rightism. Therefore it is a right wing law.

Authoritarian Analysis:

The authoritarian ideology believes that the state should be able to take any action necessary for the sake of national security. It must place the safety of the country above the liberty of the individual.

This law allows the Home Minister to prevent Australians who joined the Islamic State from returning without any judicial oversight of his actions. The authoritarian ideology which that the judiciary should exert little , to no control, over the state in matters of national security.

This law allows the state to place the safety of the country above the liberty of the individual citizen to return to his or her country. It reduces the influence of the judiciary over the state in matters of national security. Therefore this law is an authoritarian law.

Libertarian Analysis:

The libertarian ideology believes that one of the few areas in which the state must exert its power, is national security. However it must do so without violating the liberty of the individual.

This law allows the Home Minister to make his or her decisions without judicial oversight. Having strong judicial control over the actions of the executive in matters of national security is important to libertarians.

This law is meant to improve the nation’s security. It however allows the state to violate the liberty of Australian citizens to return to Australia. It also reduces the judiciary’s influence over the actions of the executive in matters of national security. Therefore it is only slightly libertarian, but goes against libertarian ideology for the most part.

My Analysis

I agree with this law partly. I believe that the government’s first and foremost duty is the protection of the country. I support any government that adopts a hard line policy towards terrorism. I think that Australia should permanently ban Australian Islamic State fighters from returning, not just for 2 years.

However I also am aware that the lack of judicial oversight over the government in implementing this law, could lead to its misuse, by preventing innocent Australians from returning by accusing them of being IS terrorists. Therefore I believe that judicial oversight is necessary. But I also appreciate the Liberal party’s argument that the Home Minister must be free to make these decisions, that judicial oversight would create an unnecessary burden for him or her. But in the end I agree with the Labour Party’s criticism. I think both these concerns can be united by allowing judicial oversight of the Home Minister, but leaving the final decision as to whether or not to announce exclusion orders to the Minister, and the government at large.

In my opinion this is a right-wing authoritarian law, with a little libertarianism as well.

Thank you for reading.

This is a blog titled 360 Degrees. It examines the legislative, legal and political issues of the day from all perspectives of the political compass.