Australia

Australia PM Turnbull pushes tough anti-terror laws

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants indefinite detention of terrorists

Australia's prime minister has moved to strengthen anti-terror laws after attacks in the US and France.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said proposed changes would allow continuing imprisonment for convicted terrorists at high risk of reoffending.

The process would be supervised by courts and also subject to medical and psychological checks.

The age at which anti-terror legislation applies to individuals would also be lowered from 16 to 14.

The government will work with state and territory administrations to roll out the reforms.

Mr Turnbull said the measures were necessary after an increase in the number and severity of terrorist attacks across the world.

"The threat is real," he said.

"We can never ever be complacent and we are not. We are focused constantly on the single most important obligation of our government ... which is to preserve and protect the safety of the people."

Convicted terrorists would be subject to continuing imprisonment in a court-supervised process similar to measures in place for sex offenders and extremely violent criminals.

The changes would also make advocating genocide an offence.

Attorney-General George Brandis will meet with state and territory attorneys-general in coming days to discuss the new laws.

"If a person, having served a sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime, shows every indication of a willingness to repeat that crime, to reoffend as soon as they are released, they should remain behind bars," Mr Brandis said.

Senator Brandis said UK Prime Minister Theresa May had previously shown an interest in Australia's approach to domestic security.

"I know that her own thinking when she was home secretary earlier in the year was guided by some of the law reform we undertook in Australia," he said.

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