Before 9/11, Australia had no counter-terrorism laws, now we have 92 — but are we safer?
Australia is a long way from New York and Washington DC, but the September 11 terror attacks had a profound impact on our country. In Afghanistan and Iraq, we became embroiled in decades-long insurgencies. At home, the attacks had enduring impacts on our legal system. Before 9/11 Australia had zero national counter-terrorism laws. Now, we have 92 of them, amounting to more than 5,000 pages of rules, powers and offences.
These laws have reshaped ideas about criminal responsibility, set us apart from our closest allies, and strengthened a troubling culture of secrecy.
But have they made us safer?