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Key developments

  • Inquiry into the National Security Legislation Amendment (No. 1) Bill 2014
  • Review of the Water Act 2007 (Cth)
  • Victim’s Rights and Support Act 2013

Inquiry into the National Security Legislation Amendment (No. 1) Bill 2014

The Human Rights Committee provided comments for inclusion in the Law Council’s submission. The Bill proposes to expand ASIO powers in relation to phone and internet surveillance. The committee noted that an interference with the right to privacy should be proportionate, reasonable and in accordance with the provisions, aims and objectives of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

In the committee’s view, both existing and proposed laws concerning any telephone tapping or computer/internet/data access must require a judicial warrant for activities under those warrants to comply with Article 17 of the ICCPR.

The committee also commented on the duration of authorisation, the proposed Identified Person Warrants, the power to vary warrants, evidential certificates, the immunity of intelligence officers from liability, the accountability of ASIS, and the freedom of speech and proposed prohibition on the media reporting on the unauthorised or unlawful conduct on the part of intelligence agencies and officers.

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