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Thursday, 27 May 2004
Page: 29309


Mr RUDDOCK (Attorney-General) (9:08 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 and the Judiciary Act 1903 to give effect to the National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Bill 2004, which I have just introduced.

The first amendment to the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 will exclude the certificate decisions of the Attorney-General from section 13 of that act.

This means that it is not possible to apply to the Attorney-General to request him or her to furnish a written statement setting out the findings on material questions of fact and the reasons for the certificate decision.

Due to the nature of a certificate decision, exposure of the reasons for the decision could itself prejudice Australia's national security.

The second amendment includes a certificate decision of the Attorney-General within the definition of a related criminal justice process decision for the purposes of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 and the Judiciary Act 1903.

This amendment gives the Supreme Court of the relevant state or territory jurisdiction with respect to any matter in which the defendant seeks a writ of mandamus or prohibition or an injunction against the Attorney-General in relation to a certificate decision.

This amendment promotes administrative efficiency by ensuring that the application for a writ of mandamus or prohibition or an injunction is heard by the same court that is likely to hear the prosecution or appeal.

I commend this brief bill to the House and table an explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Mr Swan) adjourned.