After the terrorist attacks in London, John Howard, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister, prepared a series of measures against “terrorism”. One of them involves forcing people presenting a “terrorist risk” to wear electronic bracelets. The use of this bracelet will imply severe limitations of movement and contacts.

In addition, since the ones blamed for the attacks in London last July had British citizenship, it is now more difficult to obtain the Australian citizenship. The use of surveillance cameras and preventive arrests will also be more common. All these measures should lead to the neutralization of people that, under the current legislation, can not be prosecuted.

Although there is an Australian contingent of troops in Iraq, Australia has only been attacked indirectly.

For Terry O’Gorman, president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, these “extreme” measures mean that “people involved in a legitimate political debate could be included in that cleansing”. Let us note that O’Gorman is concerned about what he considers a possible abusive use of the law in the framework of the political debate among good Australians, not questioning its ideological basis and, thus, supporting it. The theory of “pre-emptive” justice was created in the United States by John Aschcroft and the Federalist Society and it was criticized by movie-maker Steven Spielberg in the film Minority Report.

The final decision on these measures will be made on September 27th during the meeting of the Special Council of the Australian Governments on Terrorism (COAG).