Labor should be held accountable for their part in the Haneef farce
originally posted as a comment @ The Road To Surfdom
The Labor party needs to be held accountable for their part in this farce. What good is a briefing based on secret information if the AFP can’t even get the basics right with facts that are (or will shortly be) in the public domain.
Why should we trust that executive decisions based entirely on secret information will be any more soundly based than those based on public information when they can’t even get those right?
Kevin Andrews' action was a violation of the principle of natural justice unless he has very strong evidence that Haneef was part of a plot that represented an imminent danger to the Australian public. Nothing in the publicly available information suggests this is so.
If we trusted the executive to behave responsibly then we could perhaps put some weight on the so-called sensitive information. However, this government has long since lost the right to deserve that trust.
The Labor party was fundamentally wrong to endorse Minister Andrews' actions under a fully legal and fully draconian immigration law. They should have withheld judgment about the merits of Kevin Andrew’s claims of bad character until such time as they were substantiated with publicly available information. They certainly should not have endorsed the premature truncation of Haneef’s presumption of innocence. By law, and by the terms of natural justice, this can only occur when the accused is found guilty in a court of law - not before.
The Labor party was hoping to deny the Liberals a wedge issue so they abandoned the principle of presumption of innocence. Now that this case has descended into farce, they are left to wallow in the government’s cesspit and wonder about the what if’s of defending central principles of western jurisprudence and democracy.