Senate debates

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Bills

Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014; In Committee

9:12 pm

Photo of George BrandisGeorge Brandis (Queensland, Liberal Party, Attorney-General) Share this | Hansard source

I move government amendment (7), on sheet ZA358:

(7) Schedule 1, page 12 (after line 10), after item 34, insert:

34A At the end of section 38

  Add:

(7) Before the end of the following periods, the Attorney-General must consider whether to revoke a certificate certifying in accordance with paragraph (2)(a) (if the certificate remains in force):

  (a) 12 months after it was issued;

  (b) 12 months after the Attorney-General last considered whether to revoke it.

34B Application

  Subsection 38(7) of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 applies to certificates issued on or after the commencement of that subsection.

Amendment (7) implements recommendation No. 28 of the PJCIS by requiring that a certificate be issued by the Attorney-General under paragraph 38(2)(a) of the ASIO Act and be reviewed within 12 months of the issuance of the certificate and then every 12 months after it has been last renewed.

The effect is to ensure annual review of certificates that would enable silent passport cancellations. This is another of the safeguards, Mr Chairman, that have been accepted by the government as prudent measures, following the PJCIS recommendations. The powers under paragraph 38(2)(a) of the ASIO Act are extraordinary powers. They are only exercised in very exceptional circumstances. But it is appropriate that a certificate issued by the Attorney-General under that provision be reviewed and only, if necessary, renewed on an annual basis.

Question agreed to.

by leave—I move government amendments (11) to (13) together:

(11) Schedule 1, item 51, page 20 (line 28), omit "member;", substitute "member.".

(12) Schedule 1, item 51, page 20 (lines 29 and 30), omit paragraphs 3ZZAF(1)(c) and (d).

(13) Schedule 1, item 51, page 20 (lines 32 and 33), omit "part-time senior member or a member", substitute "full-time senior member".

Amendments (11) to (13) implement the first recommendation of the PJCIS report by limiting the AAT members authorised to issue a delayed notification search warrant, and to perform related functions, to the deputy president and full-time senior members. But for this amendment those functions could be performed by all members of the AAT. The government is convinced and accepts the view that, given the gravity of the powers exercisable under a delayed notification search warrant, the authorisation should only be made by a relatively senior member of the judiciary, and therefore only members of the AAT who serve at the most senior tiers of that tribunal ought to be issuing authorities.

Question agreed to.

I move government amendment (14):

(14) Schedule 1, item 51, page 44 (line 18), omit "18", substitute "12".

Government amendment (14) implements PJCIS recommendation No. 2 by reducing from 18 months to 12 months the maximum period before which the occupier of premises that have been the subject of a delayed notification search warrant, or the occupier of adjoining premises, be notified. Any extension beyond 12 months would require ministerial authorisation. Once again, this is an additional safeguard or a confinement of an extraordinary power. The government is of the view that the period should in all the circumstances be foreshortened from the initial period specified in the bill to 12 months.

Question agreed to.

by leave—I move government amendments (15) and (16) together:

(15) Schedule 1, item 51, page 59 (after line 32), after paragraph 3ZZHA(2)(a), insert:

  (aa) the disclosure is for the purposes of obtaining or providing legal advice related to this Part;

(16) Schedule 1, item 51, page 60 (after line 13), after paragraph 3ZZHA(2)(d), insert:

  (da) the disclosure is made by anyone to the Ombudsman, a Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman or a member of the Ombudsman's staff (whether in connection with the exercise of powers or performance of functions under Division 7, in connection with a complaint made to the Ombudsman or in any other circumstances);

Amendments (15) and (16) implement recommendation 3 of the PJCIS report by strengthening the unauthorised disclosure of information offences. The amendments exempt disclosure in the course of obtaining or providing legal advice, and disclosure of warrant information to the ombudsman from the disclosure of offences in the bill.

Question agreed to.

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