‘All-costs win’ is a loss for rule of law

Noel McLaughlin (Letters 3 April 2012 Canberra Times) misrepresents (columnist) Jack Waterford’s position on the AFP. Jack was not criticising the personal bravery of individuals. Rather, what I understood him to be saying is that the AFP have been encouraged, both by sweeping anti-terrorism legislation, and the enthusiastic and uncritical support of a previous Attorney-General, to use their authority and resources inappropriately in a ‘win at all costs’ way. Little consideration seems to have been given to ensuring that those charged with enforcing the law, do so in accordance with what the law actually says, and not what they think it says.

What’s required is an independent, transparent and broad ranging review of federal law enforcement culture. One term of reference should be directed towards restoring equilibrium between individual rights and general community safety. Such a Review might be conducted by the Australian Commissioner for Law Enforcement Integrity, in conjunction with other contemporary matters.
– Don Malcolmson, CLA member, Canberra

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