Title Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008
Database Bills & Legislation
Long Title a Bill for an Act to appoint an independent reviewer of terrorism laws, and for related purposes
Date 17-03-2008
Source House of Reps
Parl No. 42
Bill Number 2008/056
Reps Bill Code O
Status Before Reps
System Id legislation/bills/r2954_first/0003


Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008

Part II—Independent Reviewer

6  Appointment of an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws

(1)     For the purposes of this Act there shall be an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws.

(2)     The Independent Reviewer shall be appointed by the Governor-General.

(3)     Before a recommendation is made to the Governor-General for the appointment of a person as the Independent Reviewer, the Prime Minister shall consult with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives.

7  Acting Independent Reviewer

(1)     The Prime Minister may appoint a person to act as the Independent Reviewer:

                      (a)  during a vacancy in the office of Independent Reviewer; or

(b) during any period, or during all periods, when the Independent Reviewer is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office;

but a person appointed to act during a vacancy must not continue so to act for more than 12 months.

(2)         Before appointing a person to act as the Independent Reviewer, the Prime Minister must consult with the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives about the appointment.

8  Functions of the Independent Reviewer

                          The functions of the Independent Reviewer are: at the request of the responsible Minister; or of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security; or of the Independent Reviewer’s own motion, to review the operation, effectiveness and implications of laws relating to terrorist acts. The Independent Reviewer shall be free to determine priorities as he or she thinks fit.

9  Conduct of reviews by the Independent Reviewer

(1)     The Independent Reviewer shall, before commencing a review into legislation, inform the responsible Minister that the Independent Reviewer proposes to conduct the review.

(2)     The Independent Reviewer may, for the purposes of this Act, obtain information, including information that is classified as confidential, from such persons, and make such inquiries, as the Independent Reviewer thinks is necessary for the conduct of a review.

(3)     The Independent Reviewer shall, before commencing a review of legislation, have regard to the functions of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the Auditor-General, the Ombudsman, and  the Privacy Commissioner, in relation to that legislation, and may consult with all or any of them in relation to the review, with a view to ensuring a cooperative and comprehensive approach and to avoiding inquiries being conducted unnecessarily by more than one of them.

10   Power to obtain information and documents

(1)   Where the Independent Reviewer believes that a person is capable of producing documents relevant to the review being undertaken, the Independent Reviewer may, by notice in writing, require that person, within such period as is specified in the notice and which shall be reasonable, to produce such documents to the Independent Reviewer.

(2)  Where documents are produced, the Independent Reviewer may take possession of, make copies of, or take extracts from such documents and may retain possession of them for such period as the Independent Reviewer considers is necessary.

(3)   Where the Independent Reviewer requires access to documents for the purposes of a review under this Act, and the documents have a national security classification, the Independent Reviewer shall make arrangements with relevant agencies for protection of the documents while they remain in the Independent Reviewer’s control, and for the secure return of the documents.

(4)   Where the Independent Reviewer takes possession, copies or extracts of documents, the documents will be held securely by the Independent Reviewer and will be destroyed within six months of the completion of the inquiry.

(5)   Where the Independent Reviewer believes that a person is capable of providing information relevant to the review being undertaken, the Independent Reviewer may, by notice in writing, require that person to attend before the Independent Reviewer to answer questions as relevant.

(6)   A person is not liable to any penalty under the provisions of any other enactment by reason of his or her giving the information to the Independent Reviewer or producing the document to the Independent Reviewer.

(7)    For the purposes of the Privacy Act 1988, the giving of the information to the Independent Reviewer or the production of the document to the Independent Reviewer is taken to be authorised by law.

11   Independent Reviewer to report

(1)         Upon completion of each review of the operation, effectiveness and implications of a law relating to terrorism, the Independent Reviewer will report to the relevant Minister.

 (2)    A Minister shall, as soon as practicable after receiving a report of a review of terrorism laws by the Independent Reviewer:

(a)   present to each House of the Parliament a copy of the report, subject to the Independent Reviewer’s certification that the report should be so presented and the deletion of any part whose publication the Independent Reviewer certifies may affect adversely national security or certifies should not be published on other compelling grounds.

(b)  present to each House of the Parliament a response to the report, provided that a response to any report not certified for presentation, or any part whose publication the Independent Reviewer has certified should be deleted, shall be made only to the Independent Reviewer.

(3)     As soon as practicable after 30 June each year, the Independent Reviewer shall provide to the Minister a report of the Independent Reviewer’s activities during the preceding year and the Minister shall, as soon as practicable after receiving the report, present to each House of the Parliament a copy of the report, subject to the Independent Reviewer’s certification that the report should be so presented and the deletion of any part whose publication the Independent Reviewer certifies may affect adversely national security or certifies should not be published on other compelling grounds.

(4)     A report of the Independent Reviewer that has been presented to the Parliament shall be considered by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and included in its annual report to the Parliament.