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A Bill for an Act to appoint an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws, and for related purposes
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Registered 25 Jun 2008
Introduced Senate 23 Jun 2008

 

2008

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008

 

No.      , 2008

 

(Senators Troeth and Humphries)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to appoint an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws, and for related purposes

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                    1

1  Short title....................................................................................................... 1

2  Commencement............................................................................................. 1

3  Object of Act................................................................................................. 2

4  Interpretation................................................................................................. 2

5  Application of Act........................................................................................ 2

Part 2—Independent Reviewer                                                                 3

6  Appointment of an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws.................... 3

7  Acting Independent Reviewer....................................................................... 3

8  Functions of the Independent Reviewer........................................................ 3

9  Conduct of reviews by the Independent Reviewer....................................... 4

10  Power to obtain information and documents............................................... 4

11  Independent Reviewer to report.................................................................. 5

Part 3—Administrative Provisions                                                            7

12  Terms and conditions of appointment........................................................ 7

13  Resignation.................................................................................................. 7

14  Termination of appointment....................................................................... 7

15  Disclosure of interests................................................................................. 8

 


A Bill for an Act to appoint an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Act 2008.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act commences on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.

             (2)  If this Act does not commence under subsection (1) within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent, it commences on the first day after the end of that period.

3  Object of Act

                   The object of this Act is to appoint an independent person to ensure ongoing and integrated review of the operation, effectiveness and implications of laws in Australia relating to terrorism.

4  Interpretation

                   In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

                        terrorist act  has the same meaning as in Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

     terrorism laws  means any law or part of a law directed to the prevention, detection or prosecution of a terrorist act.

5  Application of Act

                   This Act applies both within and outside Australia and extends to every external Territory.


 

Part 2Independent Reviewer

  

6  Appointment of an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws

    (1)  For the purposes of this Act there must be an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws.

    (2)  The Independent Reviewer must be appointed by the Governor‑General.

    (3)  Before a recommendation is made to the Governor‑General for the appointment of a person as the Independent Reviewer, the Prime Minister must consult with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives about the appointment.

7  Acting Independent Reviewer

    (1)  The Prime Minister may appoint a person to act as the Independent Reviewer:

                     (a)  during a vacancy in the office of Independent Reviewer; or

                     (b)  during any period, or during all periods, when the Independent Reviewer is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office;

but a person appointed to act during a vacancy must not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

             (2)  Before appointing a person to act as the Independent Reviewer, the Prime Minister must consult with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives about the appointment.

8  Functions of the Independent Reviewer

                  The functions of the Independent Reviewer are: at the request of the responsible Minister; or of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security; or of the Independent Reviewer’s own motion, to review the operation, effectiveness and implications of laws relating to terrorist acts. The Independent Reviewer must be free to determine priorities as he or she thinks fit.

9  Conduct of reviews by the Independent Reviewer

(1)      The Independent Reviewer must, before commencing a review into legislation, inform the responsible Minister that the Independent Reviewer proposes to conduct the review.

(2)      The Independent Reviewer may, for the purposes of this Act, obtain information, including information that is classified as confidential, from such persons, and make such inquiries, as the Independent Reviewer thinks is necessary for the conduct of a review.

(3)     The Independent Reviewer must, before commencing a review of legislation, have regard to the functions of the Inspector‑General of Intelligence and Security, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the Auditor‑General, the Ombudsman, and the Privacy Commissioner, in relation to that legislation, and may consult with all or any of them in relation to the review, with a view to ensuring a cooperative and comprehensive approach and to avoiding inquiries being conducted unnecessarily by more than one of them.

10  Power to obtain information and documents

(1)   Where the Independent Reviewer believes that a person is capable of producing documents relevant to the review being undertaken, the Independent Reviewer may, by notice in writing, require that person, within such period as is specified in the notice and which must be reasonable, to produce such documents to the Independent Reviewer.

(2)   Where documents are produced, the Independent Reviewer may take possession of, make copies of, or take extracts from such documents and may retain possession of them for such period as the Independent Reviewer considers is necessary.

(3)   Where the Independent Reviewer requires access to documents for the purposes of a review under this Act, and the documents have a national security classification, the Independent Reviewer must make arrangements with relevant agencies for protection of the documents while they remain in the Independent Reviewer’s control, and for the secure return of the documents.

(4)   Where the Independent Reviewer takes possession, copies or extracts of documents, the documents will be held securely by the Independent Reviewer and will be destroyed within 6 months of the completion of the inquiry.

(5)   Where the Independent Reviewer believes that a person is capable of providing information relevant to the review being undertaken, the Independent Reviewer may, by notice in writing, require that person to attend before the Independent Reviewer to answer questions as relevant.

(6)   A person is not liable to any penalty under the provisions of any other enactment by reason of his or her giving the information to the Independent Reviewer or producing the document to the Independent Reviewer.

(7)   For the purposes of the Privacy Act 1988, the giving of the information to the Independent Reviewer or the production of the document to the Independent Reviewer is taken to be authorised by law.

11  Independent Reviewer to report

(1)          Upon completion of each review of the operation, effectiveness and implications of a law relating to terrorism, the Independent Reviewer will report to the relevant Minister.

(2)     A Minister must, as soon as practicable after receiving a report of a review of terrorism laws by the Independent Reviewer:

                     (a)  present to each House of the Parliament a copy of the report, subject to the Independent Reviewer’s certification that the report should be so presented and the deletion of any part whose publication the Independent Reviewer certifies may affect adversely national security or certifies should not be published on other compelling grounds;

                     (b)  present to each House of the Parliament a response to the report, provided that a response to any report not certified for presentation, or any part whose publication the Independent Reviewer has certified should be deleted, must be made only to the Independent Reviewer.

(3)     As soon as practicable after 30 June each year, the Independent Reviewer must provide to the Minister a report of the Independent Reviewer’s activities during the preceding year and the Minister must, as soon as practicable after receiving the report, present to each House of the Parliament a copy of the report, subject to the Independent Reviewer’s certification that the report should be so presented and the deletion of any part whose publication the Independent Reviewer certifies may affect adversely national security or certifies should not be published on other compelling grounds.

(4)     A report of the Independent Reviewer that has been presented to the Parliament must be considered by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and included in its annual report to the Parliament.


Part 3Administrative Provisions

  

12  Terms and conditions of appointment

             (1)  The Independent Reviewer holds office for such period, not exceeding 5 years, as is specified in the instrument of appointment but, subject to subsection (2), is eligible for re‑appointment.

             (2)  A person is not eligible to be appointed to the office of Independent Reviewer more than twice.

             (3)  The Independent Reviewer may be appointed on a full‑time or part‑time basis.

13  Resignation

                   A person appointed as Independent Reviewer may resign that office by writing signed by the Independent Reviewer and delivered to the Governor‑General.

14  Termination of appointment

             (1)  The Governor‑General may terminate the appointment of the Independent Reviewer by reason of misbehaviour or physical or mental incapacity.

             (2)  If the Independent Reviewer:

                     (a)  becomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, compounds with creditors or makes an assignment of remuneration for their benefit;

                     (b)  being a person holding office on a full‑time basis:

                              (i)  engages, except with the approval of the Prime Minister, in paid employment outside the duties of his or her office; or

                             (ii)  is absent from duty, except on leave, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any period of 12 months; or

                     (c)  fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 15;

the Governor‑General must terminate the appointment of the Independent Reviewer.

(3)  An Independent Reviewer must not be removed or suspended from office except as provided by this section.

15  Disclosure of interests

                   The Independent Reviewer must give written notice to the Prime Minister of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the Independent Reviewer has or acquires and that could conflict with the proper performance of the Independent Reviewer’s functions.