Monday, November 12, 2007

Izhar ul-Haque, another failure in process - and Mr Rudd's most important promise

Photo Dallas Kilponen, Izhar ul-Haque, Sydney Morning Herald.

In a scathing judgment, NSW Supreme Court Justice Michael Adams found that two ASIO officers had broken the law in a deliberate attempt to coerce answers from Mr ul-Haque.

"I am satisfied that B15 and B16 [the ASIO officers] committed the criminal offences of false imprisonment and kidnapping at common law and also an offence under section 86 of the Crimes Act," the judge said. Sydney Morning Herald.

I see the Government's case aginst Mr ul-Haque has been thrown out of court by the judge. You will find the link to this breaking story here.

One of my themes, really a broken record, on this blog has been the decline in due process at administrative and political levels.

If you look at my posts on the Hicks and Haneef cases you will see that my focus has been not on the facts of the case, but the processes involved. Now the judge in the ul-Haque case has made the same point in an especially scathing way.

I will let the dust settle a bit before commenting further on the case. In the meantime, I want to link the case to what I see as Mr Rudd's single most important election promise.

Not the education revolution, not the tax cuts, not the maintenance of defence spending, but the promise to restore the independence of the Commonwealth Public Service. Here I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with former PM's Whitlam and Fraser.

If Mr Rudd really does this, if he really restores the increasingly degraded Westminster system, then in a single blow he will have restored not just accountability and transparency, to use the modern phrases, but also the efficiency and effectiveness of public administration.


Marcellous in a comment has pointed to a link to the judgement itself. You will find the link here. My thanks, M. Isn't it wonderful having a lawyer in the group?!

Postscript 2

This case becomes more bizare all the time. I cannoy judge the accuracy of the facts, but see Agents tried to turn student into informer.


Anonymous said...

You can read the judgment of Justice Adams here

Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, M.I have put a link up on the main post.