Australi Pre And Post 9 / 11 Law Enforcement Response
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Australia – Pre and Post 9/11 Law Enforcement Response
By Felicity Collins
Prior to September 11, 2001, Australia lacked national anti-terrorism laws, with all but one of the states and territories handling politically motivated violent actions under various statutes of criminal law (Williams, 2011). The Northern Territory was the only jurisdiction who held their own specific legislation making terrorism a criminal offence (Parliament of Australia [PA], n.d.-a). On September 11, 2001, in an incident commonly referred to as 9/11, four commercial planes in the United States of America were hijacked by members of a terrorist organisation called al-Qaeda (National September 11 Memorial & Museum, 2014). Three of the planes were intentionally…show more content… In 1978, on Monday the 13th of February, Australia faced what is believed to be its first experience of terrorism, when a bomb hidden in a bin outside the Sydney Hilton Hotel exploded, killing two council workers and a policeman (Cahill & Cahill, 2006). At the time, the hotel was hosting eleven heads of government who were in Sydney for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting (Cahill & Cahill, 2006). The Australian government reacted by mobilising the military, which came to be referred to as ‘Siege of Bowral’, that highlighted issues with the legislation that dealt with terrorism and how unprepared Australia was at responding to a terrorist event (Hancock, 2002). Over the following years, a range of legislation was enacted to handle matters associated with terrorism, laws such as allowing for defence to aid to the civil power, aviation and shipping safety, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, surveillance and intelligence services (Hancock, 2002).
Much of the Federal legislation was implemented to comply with international terrorism treaties that Australia was party to (PA, n.d.-a). Examples of this legislation include ‘Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994’, which complied with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of