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David Hicks an Australian formerly detained in Guantanamo Bay as a terrorist recently said he was pleased the authorities seemed to have concluded that his conviction at Guantanamo was ‘unfair’ and ‘obtained through duress’. He said ‘I feel like this acknowledges Guantanamo Bay and everything is illegal.’ Critically evaluate David Hicks’ ENTIRE statement in light of whether or not Human Rights are adequately provided for in the Australian legal and political system.

David Hicks an Australian who was detained in Guantanamo Bay as a terrorist, recently Hicks said ‘he was pleased the authorities seemed to have concluded that his conviction at Guantanamo was ‘unfair’ and ‘obtained through duress’, he went on to say ‘I feel like this acknowledges Guantanamo Bay and everything is illegal.’ The question here is are David Hicks assumptions correct and does the government believe that his ‘Human Rights’ were violated in Guantanamo Bay and also under Australia’s current legal and political system, would those same Human Rights issues be adequately provided for?

David Hicks made a personal choice to embrace the Islamic faith, which lead him to Afghanistan where he chose to take up arms and train in the Taliban and Al Qaeda training camps. In December, 2001, David Hicks was captured by the Northern Alliance, who were searching for foreign nationals believed to have been involved with the Taliban. Hicks when captured had already discarded his military uniform for civilian clothes and he was making for the border of Pakistan. He was handed over to the US Military; transferred to Guantanamo Bay, where he was held for almost six years without a trial. It was this incrassation and his accusations of mistreatment at the hands of the American Military, that have sparked much debate in Australia as to his “human Rights’ whilst in detention of suspected terrorists.

There is no doubt that Federal laws passed since the 11 September 2001’ due to the ‘War on Terror’, which escalated with the bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York City, have represented an extraordinary challenge for human rights protection in Australia. This outright act of aggression followed by the Bali bombings on the 12th October, 2002, in which 88 Australians were killed, was to change many lives, terrorism was now considered a threat to national and personal security and it had also become a challenge to our legal system. Erosion of legislative rights is at the heart of this challenge; which traditionally was assumed to be the fundamental basis within Australia’s common law system. The critical challenge facing Australia is how to effectively respond to the threat of terrorism without abandoning the fundamental h...

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