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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7844


Senator ELLISON (Minister for Justice and Customs) (10:36 AM) —by leave—I move government amendments (19) and (20) on sheet DT377:

(19) Schedule 1, item 24, page 19, after proposed section 34HAA, insert:

34HAB Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security may be present at questioning, taking into custody or detention

To avoid doubt, for the purposes of performing functions under the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, or an APS employee assisting the Inspector-General, may be present at the questioning, taking into custody, or detention, of a person under this Division.

(20) Schedule 1, item 24, page 19 (after line 9), at the end of subsection 34HA(1), add:

Note: For example, the Inspector-General may be concerned because he or she has been present at a questioning under section 34HAB, or because a person in detention has made a complaint under a section mentioned in paragraph 34F(9)(b).

These amendments implement recommendation 10 of the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee's report on the bill. It is worth while remembering that that recommendation stated:

The Committee recommends that the Bill should expressly provide that legal professional privilege is not affected.

It is the government's view that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security already has this capacity by virtue of his existing statutory functions. However, for the avoidance of doubt, the government amendments make it clear that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security may be present when a person is questioned, taken into custody or detained under warrant. We are saying that we just need to make this point very clear and place it beyond doubt. That is what these amendments do.