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Independent committee to review security legislation.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.law.gov.au/ag

12 October 2005 /2005

INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE TO REVIEW SECURITY LEGISLATION

An independent committee has been set up to assess the operation and effectiveness of Australia’s existing security laws, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock announced today.

“The review will focus on existing legislation and will not cover the Government’s new counter-terrorism initiatives, which will be reviewed by the Federal Parliament as well as State and Territory Governments as part of the process agree to by the Council of Australian Governments before they are enacted,” Mr Ruddock said.

“This is a timely opportunity to re-examine a number of the security and counter-terrorism legislative measures that have been in place since mid-2002.

“The committee will provide an independent assessment of our Security Acts and will report back to me within six months.”

The committee will review the use of the Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002, the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism Act 2002, the Criminal Code Amendment (Suppression of Terrorist Bombings) Act, the Border Security Legislation Amendment Act 2002 and the Telecommunications Interception Legislation Amendment

Act 2002.

The review is a statutory requirement of the Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002.

The Security Legislation Review Committee will be chaired by the Honourable Simon Sheller AO QC, a recently retired NSW Supreme Court judge.

The committee comprises former ACT Chief Police Officer John Davies APM OAM; Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Ian Carnell; Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis; Human Rights Commissioner Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM; Commonwealth Ombudsman Professor John McMillan; and representatives of the Law Council of Australia, Gillian Braddock SC and Dan O’Gorman.

The committee will receive written submissions and is expected to conduct public hearings in early 2006. Its report will be tabled in both houses of Parliament when completed.

Media Contact: Charlie McKillop (02) 6277 7300/0419 278 715