Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) is appointed under the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Act 2010 (the Act).The Act can be downloaded at Comlaw.

Under the Act, the INSLM is appointed on a part-time basis for a period not exceeding three years. The INSLM is eligible for reappointment once only.

The INSLM's role is to review the operation, effectiveness and implications of Australia’s counter-terrorism and national security legislation on an ongoing basis. This includes considering whether the laws contain appropriate safeguards for protecting the rights of individuals, remain proportionate to any threat of terrorism or threat to national security or both, and remain necessary.

The first INSLM, Mr Bret Walker SC, held the statutory office of INSLM from 21st April 2011 to 20th April 2014. Appointment of the next INSLM is under consideration by the Australian government.

Legislation

The following legislation is reviewable as part of the INSLM’s functions:

Division 3 of Part III of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 and any other provisions of that Act as far as it relates to that Division;

Part 4 of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 and any other provisions of that Act as far as it relates to that Part;

The following provisions of the Crimes Act 1914:

  1. Division 3A of Part IAA and any other provision of that Act as far as it relates to that Division;
  2. Sections of 15AA and 19AG and any other provision of that Act as far as it relates to those sections;
  3. Part IC, to the extent that the provisions of that Part relate to the investigation of terrorism offences (within the meaning of that Act), and any other provision of that Act as far as it relates to that Part;

Chapter 5 of the Criminal Code and any other provisions of that Act as far as it relates to that Chapter;

Part IIIAAA of the Defence Act 1903 and any other provision of that Act as far as it relates to that Part;

The National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004;

and any other law of the Commonwealth to the extent that it relates to Australia’s counter-terrorism and national security legislation.

Under the Act, the INSLM must give particular emphasis to provisions of the above legislation that have been applied, considered or purportedly applied during the last financial year or the immediately preceding financial year. The INSLM must also have regard to Australia’s obligations under international agreements, including human rights obligations, counter-terrorism obligations, international security obligations and arrangements agreed from time to time between the Commonwealth, the States and the Territories to ensure a national approach to countering terrorism.

Under the Act, the Prime Minister may also refer a matter relating to counter-terrorism or national security to the INSLM, either at the INSLM’s suggestion or on the Prime Minister’s own initiative.

Review by the INSLM

The INSLM provided his fourth report to the Prime Minister on 28 March 2014.

The INSLM stated his fourth review would cover the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 (Cth) ("Foreign Incursions Act"), the terrorism offences under Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) ("Criminal Code") and Part IIIAAA of the Defence Act 1903 (Cth) ("Defence Act") and may extend to a review of the powers to refuse to issue or to cancel Australian passports under the Australian Passports Act 2005 (Cth) ("Passports Act"). The Foreign Incursions Act and Passports Act are related laws for the purpose of subpara 6(1)(a)(ii) of the Act (being "any other law of the Commonwealth to the extent that it relates to Australia’s counter-terrorism and national security legislation").

The INSLM stated he would also consider the issues raised in Appendix 3 of the INSLM’s First Annual Report in regards to secs 15AA and 19AG of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) ("Crimes Act") (bail and non-parole periods in relation to terrorism) as well as Div 3A of Part IAA of the Crimes Act (powers in relation to terrorist acts and terrorism offences) and Part IC of the Crimes Act (police investigation powers in relation to those arrested for terrorism offences).

In carrying out the review, the INSLM stated he would be considering the threat posed by Australians travelling abroad to engage in terrorist or foreign incursion activity and the potential for them to return to Australia with an increased capability to commit terrorist acts.

Annual Reporting Requirements

The first annual report was provided to the Prime Minister on 16 December 2011, in accordance with legislative requirements. It was tabled in Parliament on 19 March 2012.

The second annual report was provided to the Prime Minister on 20 December 2012, in accordance with legislative requirements. It was tabled in Parliament on 14 May 2013.

The third annual report was provided to the Prime Minister on 8 November 2013, in accordance with legislative requirements. It was tabled in Parliament on 12 December 2013.

The fourth annual report was provided to the Prime Minister on 28 March 2014, in accordance with legislative requirements. It was tabled in Parliament on 18 June 2014

Annual Reports

Annual report coverDownloads

Publication Disclaimer

The HTML version of this publication has been reproduced from the print version. The print version and the PDF copy of Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Annual Report (16 December 2011) remain the authoritative versions of the document.

Viewing and Downloading this Publication

The statement of Government intent document has been made available in Portable Document Format (PDF) for downloading and printing. 

Please see our Help Page for assistance with PDF accessibility issues, downloading and viewing files.

To download and save the document to your hard drive for offline viewing, right click on the document and choose "Save Target" or "Save link as" from the pop-up menu depending upon your browser. For Mac OS, click and hold the link to the PDF file and choose "Download Link to Disk" from the pop-up menu. Specify a name and location for the PDF file and then click Save.

The office of the INSLM can be contacted by email INSLM.submissions@pmc.gov.au or phone (02) 6271 6054.

Top

Last Updated: 18 June 2014