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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The secretive police

The secrecy of police increases day by day, particularly under the anti-terror laws. Now policing is not the most transparent activity of government or society. Understandable, Miss Eagle thinks we would all say. But there are areas when one has to ask whom is secrecy serving? This is the case of the Federal Police Disciplinary Tribunal which has no disciplinary business whatsoever because Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty, clearly a secret policeman, prefers to discipline secretively. Apparently, he sees use of the tribunal as washing dirty linen in public. Just a few questions to ask:
  • Was the AFP consulted in the establishment of the tribunal?
  • Did they say they wanted it.
  • Did they say they would work with it?
  • If this was not the case, why was it not the case?
  • If this was the case, then why do the AFP appear not to want it?
  • If this was the case, then why are the AFP not using it?
  • Is it the case that the Tribunal was always intended, both by Government and the AFP, to be window dressing and merely a Clayton's Tribunal (the disciplinary unit you have when you're not having a disciplinary unit)?
  • How much does the non-functioning Tribunal - with such a lovely website and a top QC thrown in - cost the long-suffering and kept-in-ignorance-and-mushroomed taxpayer?
  • Who has accounted to Parliament and how on the non-functioning Tribunal?

Please explain