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Wednesday, 1 December 2004
Page: 27

Senator GREIG (11:31 AM) —My fear was that that was what it might lead to. I certainly appreciate what Senator Brown is trying to achieve here: the intention is to take the security clearance regime out of the hands of government and place it in the hands of the courts. As I have now been able to determine, that would have the flow-on effect of mandating that lawyers would be required in all circumstances to undergo security clearances, yet the bill itself does not go that far. I am not convinced that that is appropriate. It is then a decision for the defendant or his or her lawyer as to whether the lawyer submits to a security clearance. Obviously there will be ramifications in terms of access to information if the lawyer does not submit to a security clearance, but the point is that the clearance process remains optional, not mandatory. I would not like to see the bill go further in that regard, so the amendment before us will not have Democrat support.