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Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008 [No. 2]

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The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia







Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008



(1)     Clause 4, page 2 (lines 13 and 14), omit the definition of terrorism laws , substitute:

terrorism laws means any proposed or current law or part of a law directed to the prevention, detection or prosecution of a terrorist act and includes, but is not limited to, provisions of the:

                     (a)  Criminal Code Act 1995 ;

                     (b)  Crimes Act 1914 ;

                     (c)   National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 ;

                     (d)  Australian Federal Police Act 1979 ;

                     (e)  Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 ;

                      (f)  Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 ;

                     (g)  Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 .

[definition of terrorism laws]

(2)     Clause 8, page 3 (line 26) to page 4 (line2), omit the clause, substitute:

8  Functions of the Independent Reviewer

                   The functions of the Independent Reviewer are:

                     (a)  at the request of the responsible Minister; or

                     (b)  at the request of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security; or

                     (c)  on the Independent Reviewer’s own motion;

to review terrorism laws in order to assess whether the laws and their operation:

                     (d)  are an effective and efficient means of preventing, detecting or prosecuting terrorist acts; and

                     (e)  alter fundamental legal principles, such as habeas corpus; and

                      (f)  are consistent with Australia’s human rights obligations; and

                     (g)  have any adverse social consequences.

[functions of Independent Reviewer]

(3)     Clause 9, page 4 (line 14), before “Australian Security”, insert “the”.

[drafting correction]

(4)     Clause 10, page 5 (lines 5 to 8), omit subclause (4), substitute:

             (4)  Where the Independent Reviewer takes possession of, makes copies of, or takes extracts from documents, the documents, copies or extracts, as the case may be, will be held securely by the Independent Reviewer and within 6 months of the completion of the review:

                     (a)  original documents or extracts from documents received from agencies must be returned to those agencies; and

                     (b)  copies of documents or copies of extracts from documents held by the Independent Reviewer must be destroyed.

[return or destruction of documents, extracts and copies]

(5)     Page 5 (after line 21), after clause 10, insert:

10A  Offences

                   A person who after being given a notice under subsection 10(1) or 10(5) fails to comply with the notice when required to do so or fails to answer a question that the Independent Reviewer requires the person to answer is guilty of an offence punishable on conviction:

                     (a)  in the case of a natural person—by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months or both; or

                     (b)  in the case of a body corporate—by a fine not exceeding $5,000.


(6)     Clause 11, page 6 (lines 6 to 15), omit subclause (3).

[annual report]

(7)     Clause 11, page 6 (line 16), after “Reviewer”, insert “under this section”.

[technical amendment]

(8)     Page 6 (after line 19), after clause 11, insert:

11A  Protection from civil action

             (1)  Neither the Independent Reviewer, nor a person acting on behalf of the Independent Reviewer, is liable to an action or other proceeding for damages for or in relation to any act done or omitted to be done in good faith in performance or purported performance of any function or in exercise or purported exercise of any power conferred on the Independent Reviewer.

             (2)  Where:

                     (a)  a complaint has been made to the Independent Reviewer; or

                     (b)  a document has been produced, or information or evidence has been given to the Independent Reviewer;

a person is not liable to an action, suit or proceeding in respect of loss, damage or injury of any kind suffered by another person by reason only that the complaint was made, the document was produced or the evidence was given.

[protection from civil action]

(9)     Page 6 (after line 19), after clause 11, insert:

11B  Annual report

             (1)  The Independent Reviewer must, as soon as practicable after each 30 June, prepare and provide to the Prime Minister a report of the operations of the Independent Reviewer during the year that ended on that 30 June.

             (2)  The Prime Minister must cause a copy of a report provided under subsection (1) to be presented to each House of the Parliament as soon as practicable after the report is presented to the Prime Minister, subject to the Independent Reviewer’s certification that the report should be so presented and to the deletion of any part the publication of which the Independent Reviewer certifies may adversely affect national security or which the Independent Reviewer certifies should not be published on other compelling grounds.

[annual report]

(10)   Page 7 (after line 10), after clause 12, insert:

12A  Remuneration

             (1)  Subject to this section, the Independent Reviewer must be paid such remuneration as is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal but, if no determination of that remuneration is in operation, the Independent Reviewer must be paid such remuneration as is prescribed.

             (2)  The Independent Reviewer must be paid such allowances as are prescribed.

             (3)  Subsections (1) and (2) have effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 .


(11)   Page 7 (after line 14), after clause 13, insert:

13A  Staff

             (1)  The staff necessary to assist the Independent Reviewer must be persons engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 .

             (2)  For the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999 :

                     (a)  the Independent Reviewer and the APS employees assisting the Independent Reviewer together constitute a Statutory Agency; and

                     (b)  the Independent Reviewer is the Head of that Statutory Agency.