A ‘Watch Dog’ of Australia’s Counter-Terrorism Laws – The Coming of the National Security Legislation Monitor
Flinders Journal of Law Reform, No. 12, pp. 83-118, 2010
41 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2011 Last revised: 7 Feb 2012
Date Written: August 7, 2011
The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation in the United Kingdom has been an influential model for Australia, with the general consensus amongst bodies reviewing Australia’s anti-terrorism laws being that an Australian office should be created along similar lines. In this paper, we consider the history and recent performance of the United Kingdom Independent Reviewer in order to better understand the strengths and deficiencies of this model. These insights contribute to our discussion about the merits of two Bills introduced into the Commonwealth Parliament in 2008 and 2009, which proposed the establishment of an Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation or National Security Legislation Monitor in Australia. The second of these Bills, the National Security Legislation Monitor Bill 2009 (renamed the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Bill 2010 by the Senate) was passed by the Commonwealth Parliament in March 2010. In examining the 2008 and 2009 Bills, the article examines the final reports of two separate Senate Committee reports into the two Bills, and draws upon and critiques the arguments raised by the various stakeholders who made submissions to those Committees.
Keywords: anti-terrorism, independent reviewer, legislative review
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