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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Justice in the face of injustice

It takes a certain kind of lawyer to be attracted to terror suspects. Sydney attorney Adam Houda is that kind of man.

"I didn't go looking for this work", he says. "I don't choose my clients, but I believe every person is entitled to proper legal defence. It is an honour that people think I could provide that quality defence when the consequences of the cases for them are so enormous."

Houda provides interesting insights into the ways in which the Howard government and the corporate media constantly shift the goalposts, making fair trials all but impossible.

When such conditions are threatened, our democracy dies a little death.

7 Comments:

Blogger Pete's Blog said...

I support the anti terror legislation.

Still - the arrested "suspects" deserve a fair trial and I agree that the government's hype surrounding the arrests and media campaign over the legislation would make a "fair trial" questionable.

Its inspiring that Adam Houda is having some success in such a conservative yet politicized profession. Having more secular (Muslim) leaders like him would be a step forward for Muslims in Australia.

I think their community has been held back for too long by a largely religious leadership.

PS - shortlived "Spying and Sensuality" has bitten the dust. "Spying Bad Things" now rules. I'm keeping my (many and varied) secrets of charming the ladies to myself.

Monday, November 28, 2005 12:02:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

I still haven't seen a coherent ARGUMENT made for why the current criminal code is incapable of dealing with a potential terrorist act.

Can someone point me in the direction of such an argument (the more 'official' the better)?

As for Mr Houda, yes, it's good to see someone willing to put up their hand to defend alleged terrorists, but I suspect if he didn't, someone else would. Lawyers generally don't have a problem defending anyone.

As for the comment by Spying Bad Things, "Having more secular (Muslim) leaders like him would be a step forward for Muslims in Australia."
As a general rule, I agree, but I don't think we should get TOO starry-eyed about Mr Houda and co. The media spotlight is a seductive siren, and I can't help getting the feeling that we are seeing the embryo of a political career. That said, people like Waleed Aly and Irfan Yusuf do a hell of a lot better than the average media-inflated imam.

Monday, November 28, 2005 12:41:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

You're awfully quick to target this as an "injustice"...now, say what you will, but the actions of the suspects and their compatriots don't exactly indicate innocence, or a respect for the system. One of these clowns shot at cop outside a mosque; their mates beat up a cameraman.

These don't strike me as particularly sympathetic "victims" of the Howard "junta".

Monday, November 28, 2005 8:42:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Then let them be charged for the crimes they commited. no the ones they might make in some Monority Report scenario.

Monday, November 28, 2005 12:35:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

"but the actions of the suspects and their compatriots don't exactly indicate innocence, or a respect for the system. One of these clowns shot at cop outside a mosque; their mates beat up a cameraman."

Let's hope you're not on the jury. Your statements are a perfect example of how the media has contaminated the jury pool.

Monday, November 28, 2005 1:31:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Al-Eddy, the media didn't pollute the jury pool - the guys who beat up a cameraman polluted the jury pool. What did they expect? That footage of them punching and throwing chairs in front of cameras from every news organisation in Australia wouldn't make it into the public domain?

Please, defend their actions. They were upset? They did it out of a sense of injustice? John Howard made them do it?

Monday, November 28, 2005 1:51:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
"the guys who beat up a cameraman polluted the jury pool."

They pollute the jury pool too.

Monday, November 28, 2005 9:13:00 pm  

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