I CERTAINLY hope that Iain Bullen’s letter attacking vulnerable asylum seekers and the legal profession alike does not represent the views of most Australians (The Advertiser, 22/9/11).
Not only does he conflate lawyers with judges and label them both a mercenary occupation, which I assume means people who exercise their professional skills in exchange for money, he also suggests that all asylum seekers be compared to terrorists.
Abdul Benbrika was, in fact, convicted of belonging to a recognised terrorist organisation but, for reasons not made clear in your brief report (“Terror chief’s court victory”, The Advertiser, 21/9/11), the presiding judge decided that a trial for conspiring to actually commit terrorist acts would be inappropriate in his case.
Perhaps this was a mistaken decision, but what it has to do with lawyers who advocate for the human rights of refugees is beyond me.
Furthermore, his echo of John Howard’s declaration that we have the right to decide who comes to this country is no excuse for exercising that right with fear-driven selfishness.
Ben Adams, Park Holme.
The Advertiser, Sep 24, 2011.