Independent National Security Legislation Monitor
18 September 2023
All comments to be attributed to Law Council of Australia President, Mr Luke Murphy
The Law Council of Australia welcomes the appointment of Mr Jake Blight as the fifth Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM).
Mr Blight is currently Associate Professor in the National Security College, Australian National University. He is a knowledgeable and experienced practitioner with significant experience across government in relation to national security law including as a former Deputy and Acting Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.
Mr Blight’s experience will bring a unique perspective to the INSLM role, which is critical to ensuring that national security legislation remains necessary and proportionate to the threats faced and contains appropriate safeguards to protect the rights of individuals.
The Law Council looks forward to working collaboratively with Mr Blight by continuing to provide balanced and expert submissions and evidence to INSLM inquiries.
Over recent years, the demands placed on the office of the INSLM have increased substantially. For this reason, the Law Council acknowledges the increased resourcing of the INSLM’s office announced in this year’s budget. This will support the appointment of the INSLM on a full-time basis and increased staffing in the INSLM’s office.
The Law Council gratefully acknowledges the independence and thoughtfulness which the outgoing INSLM Mr Grant Donaldson SC has brought to the role since 2020.
In particular, the Law Council strongly supports implementation of Mr Donaldson’s report into Division 105A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which was tabled in Parliament on 30 March 2023, and is currently under review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
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