Senate debates

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006

In Committee

9:52 am

Photo of Chris EllisonChris Ellison (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Justice and Customs) Share this | Hansard source

Clause 118 sets out:

A stored communications warrant:
must be in accordance with the prescribed form; and
must be signed by the issuing authority who issues it.

It goes on to say:

A stored communications warrant may specify conditions or restrictions relating to accessing stored communications ...

It further states:

A stored communications warrant must set out short particulars of each serious contravention in relation to which the issuing authority issuing the warrant was satisfied, on the application for the warrant ...

We are saying that that is best left to prescription of the form, and we believe that the prescribed form will include additional information, which is sought by the Democrats in this amendment. We believe that in relation to the affidavit, which is clause 113, it is sufficiently covered. Clause 113 states:

The application must, if it is in writing, be accompanied by an affidavit—

that is straightforward—

The affidavit must set out the facts and other grounds on which the application is based.

It also says:

... a written application may be accompanied by 2 or more affidavits that together set out each matter ...

We believe it is appropriate to set it out in that fashion. The prescribed form, which can be done by way of regulations, can then deal with the further information that can be covered. We believe that will cover the area that the Democrats are talking of. So it is a question of whether you, as I understand it, bring forward what Senator Stott Despoja is talking about from regulations into the bill itself. We would rather do that through prescribed form under regulations which, of course, are subject to the scrutiny of the parliament. I can foreshadow that we oppose this amendment, and the opposition’s amendment on similar grounds, because it covers a similar area although expressed differently.

Question negatived.


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