Australia to charge children under new anti-terror laws

Canberra, Sep 15 – Children as young as 14 years of age will be charged as adults under new counter-terror laws introduced in Australia’s

parliament on Thursday.

Attorney-General, George Brandis said he expected the amendments to receive bipartisan support in both the lower and upper Houses, as they would serve to keep Australia’s anti-terror laws as strong and up-to-date as possible, Xinhua news agency reported

He said the changes, which include an amendment to charge minors as adults when it comes to terror-related activities would enable police and intelligence agencies to fight terrorism, and to keep our community safe.

Regrettably, children as young as 14 have been involved in terrorism-related activities. This Bill recognises this reality and the need for appropriate safeguards, Brandis said in a statement on Thursday.

He added that the second amendment, which would keep at-risk convicted terrorists in jail even if their sentence was served, would further protect Australians from the growing risk of terrorism.

Most states and territories have already enacted post-sentence preventative detention schemes for dealing with high risk sex or violent offenders, but until now, there has been no such scheme for convicted terrorist offenders, Brandis added.