The Extraordinary Questioning and Detention Powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

55 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2013

See all articles by Lisa Burton

Lisa Burton

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Nicola McGarrity

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

George Williams

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation (Terrorism) Amendment Act 2003 Cth) is the most controversial piece of anti-terrorism legislation passed by the Commonwealth Parliament. The Act created a system of warrants that permit the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to question and detain non-suspects for the purposes of gathering intelligence about terrorism offences. This regime is subject to a sunset clause and will expire in July 2016, unless renewed by Parliament. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the process by which warrants are issued and the powers conferred by them. It finds that the regime is insufficiently tailored to its purpose of protecting Australians against terrorism. In light of this, and evidence about how the powers have been used, the article concludes that these extraordinary questioning and detention powers should not be renewed without significant amendment.

Suggested Citation

Burton, Lisa and McGarrity, Nicola and Williams, George, The Extraordinary Questioning and Detention Powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (2012). Melbourne Univeristy Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, 2012; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2013-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2212700

Lisa Burton

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

Nicola McGarrity

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

George Williams (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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