Terrorism and anti-terrorism laws

Selda Dagistanli, Scott Poynting

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter addresses Australian legislative and juridical responses to acts officially defined as terrorism, briefly summarising counter-terrorism measures from the events of September 11, 2001 to 2016. We argue that counter-terrorism measures since the 2001 attacks contravene principles of due process, separation of powers and human rights. Moreover, being pre-emptive and granting extraordinary discretionary power to police and security agencies, they have shifted the burden of proof and have criminalised vaguely defined “preparatory acts”. The anti-terrorism laws have produced wrongful terrorism charges and have labelled as “terrorist” several isolated actions of mentally disturbed perpetrators such as in the Martin Place siege of 2014. Additionally, such laws have been used disproportionately against Muslim men. The record shows that these counter-terrorism measures are neither proportional to nor consistent with the actual threat of terrorism in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave handbook of Australian and New Zealand criminology, crime and justice
EditorsAntje Deckert, Rick Sarre
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319557472
ISBN (Print)9783319557465
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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