On Thursday (24 May 2018) Mr Porter, the Commonwealth Attorney-General ("the AG"), introduced the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2018 (Cth) ("the Bill") in the House of Representatives. In his second reading speech, the Attorney-General indicated that the Australian government was committed to ensuring the safety and protection of the Australian community and that for this to be achieved law enforcement and security agencies had to have access to the "tools and capabilities that they need to manage the ever-evolving terrorist threat" and that:
Generally, the Bill extends the operation of a range of critical counter-terrorism provisions in the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) ("the Criminal Code"), the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) ("the Crimes Act") and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (Cth) ("the ASIO Act") to ensure that law enforcement and security agencies continue to have access to these provisions to respond to the ongoing threat of terrorist activities in Australia.
The Bill proposes to extend for a further three years the following regimes which are scheduled to sunset on 7 September 2018 (the counter-terrorism provisions):
As part of the extension of these counter-terrorism provisions, the Bill also follows up on recent reviews of the provisions and implements the Government’s response to the recommendations of these reviews carried out by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security ("PJCIS") and the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor ("INSLM").
The Bill makes a minor amendment to Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code to reflect the new division of responsibilities between the Attorney-General and the Minister Australian Federal Police (AFP) (namely, the Minister for Home Affairs following on the establishment of the new Home Affairs portfolio). The amendment deals with the role of the AG and the AFP Minister in the protection of sensitive information under the CDO regime in Division 105A of the Criminal Code.
Following are the key changes to relevant Acts:
The Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 is amended to exclude from review under that Act, the decision of a senior Australian Federal Police ("AFP") member in relation to consent for the purposes of applications to vary interim control orders.
The Criminal Code Act 1995 is amended to:
The Crimes Act 1914 is amended to:
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 is amended to extend the operation of Division 3 of Part III to provide for the continuation of the questioning and questioning and detention warrant regime for a further 12 months.
The Intelligence Services Act 2001 is amended to:
The Bill is currently being debated in the House of Representatives.
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Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2018 (Cth) and supporting explanatory materials as reported in the TimeBase LawOne Service.
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