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Justice delayed - justice denied

This op-ed piece in The Age today, by Catherine Gale, President of the Law Institute of Victoria, is not only timely but should be read by all fair-minded, decent, justice-seeking Australians:

"Languishing in a cell in Guantanamo Bay, David Hicks is probably unaware of the politics eroding any chance of a fair trial.

A new military commission process passed late last week by the United States Congress will offer little hope for Hicks and his family.

The odds of Hicks receiving a fair trial after almost five years in custody remain firmly stacked against him. One can only wonder if this new legislation is a political manoeuvre designed to win votes in the lead-up to the mid-term elections in the US."

Interestingly, on ABC National Radio's Breakfast program this morning, presenter Fran Kelly interviewed just-retired Federal Court justice, Murray Willcox. In a range of topics discussed, including David Hicks, Willcox rightly posed this question - why is that the US has from the outset excluded Americans from the military-commission process in place for people like David Hicks? Further, Willcox asks are Australians less worthy of protection under the law than American citizens. A-G Ruddock might care to answer that question!

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