Some critics of the ADA's proposal to criminalise reckless as well as intentional acts that assist the enemy have again resorted to fibs, abuse and straw-man arguments. Rather than explain how, as they claim, such reforms to our treachery laws could limit reasonable and legitimate dissent and objective and informed debate.
Letter to The Canberra Times
Sunday, 09 September 2012
(published Thursday, 13 September 2012)
Several letters in Saturday’s Canberra Times [08 September 2012] helpfully demonstrated the ADA’s point about public debate on Australia’s role in Afghanistan needing to be more informed, sensitive and, above all, responsible, rather than relying just on opinion, abuse and attacking straw-men not actually used by a perceived opponent.
Furthermore, voicing your own opinions is not always an absolute right that over-rides our legal, practical and moral responsibilities as Australian citizens.
Such behaviour is particularly not harmless, justified or indeed morally legitimate when it seriously endangers the very lives in combat of fellow Australians.
Moreover, our proposal that Australia’s reformed treachery laws now criminalise reckless (as well as intentional) acts is entirely consistent with the principles behind many other laws.
As with driving a car recklessly.
Or, as with criminal defamation and vilification inciting or resulting in violence against those vilified, where the right to dissent and its responsible practice would be unaffected.
As long as an act rather than just an opinion is involved, and you are willing and able to prove in court that your actions were reasonable and justified in the circumstances.
Finally, to avoid further confusion for some, treason is attempting to overthrow our governmental system. Treachery involves serious betrayal of your fellow Australians generally.
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