Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008
I seek leave of the House to move a motion to enable order of the day No. 6, private members’ business, relating to the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008 to be called on immediately.
Leave not granted.
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent order of the day No. 6, private Members’ business, relating to the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008, being called on and proceeded with immediately, in light of the following reasons:
- the Australian Parliament has enacted more than 30 laws dealing with terrorism since 2001;
- offences and procedures have been established which depart significantly from traditional criminal law principles and practices, and restrict fundamental civil liberties;
- it is critical that Parliament and the executive are well informed about the effectiveness and impact of the laws;
- however, the machinery of vigilance in Australia is deficient—reviews to date have been sporadic and fragmented and with limited mandates. Important issues have not been addressed;
- a credible new mechanism of review is essential;
- the Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has twice recommended the establishment of the position of Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws, to provide a more integrated and ongoing approach to monitoring the laws;
- the committee considered that creation of the position would contribute positively to community confidence as well as provide the Parliament with regular factual reports;
- the committee’s recommendation was made unanimously on a bipartisan basis;
- the appointment of an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws has been supported by other authoritative commentators, including the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission; and
- Parliament should have an immediate opportunity to consider this bill to establish a safeguard for the protection of our security and our rights, one which has been strongly endorsed across the political spectrum and within civil society.
On a bipartisan basis, this legislature has—