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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 2274

Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (11:00): Just quickly, Senator Leyonhjelm, the amendments in relation to preventative detention orders and control orders are amendments to existing sections in the Criminal Code, all of which sunset on 7 September 2018. So these amended sections, were the bill to be passed by the Senate, will sunset in any event on 7 September 2018. The effect of your amendment in relation to preventative detention orders and control orders would be, in fact, to extend the operation of those provisions by eight years longer than the existing sunset clause. So I think I you are wrong about that, with respect, Senator Leyonhjelm.

In relation to the offence of genocide and the other matters you mention, I simply do not agree with you and your general proposition that all legislation of this kind should be sunsetted. There are some, such as the control orders and the preventative detention orders, which for obvious reasons should be. But sometimes society has to make a choice as to whether we create, for example, a new category of criminal offence. I myself think that it should always be a crime to advocate the commission of genocide. I do not think that is something the need for which is a time limited, temporal or contingent need. I think as a matter of policy Australia should accept that it ought to be a crime to advocate genocide. So I do not think that section is suitable for sunsetting, either. The same observation applies to those other items of the bill that you have mentioned which are not caught by the existing sunset clause that sunsets on 7 September 2018.

I will keep my remarks short out of courtesy to Senator Wong, who has an appointment. I just wanted to wind up there with those observations.