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Law Council of Australia


Opening Statement - Migration and Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Information Provisions) Bill 2020

Dr Jacoba Brasch QC, President, Law Council of Australia

27 August 2021

"The Law Council accepts that there is a public interest in law enforcement and criminal intelligence agencies providing probative information to officials responsible for exercising character-related powers, and in there being a means to control the disclosure of such information to persons subject to the exercise of those powers.

However, such a scheme must balance those interests against principles fundamental to a democratic legal system: the right to a fair hearing, effective judicial review, the proper administration of justice, and parliamentary and independent scrutiny of executive power.

The Bill does not strike the appropriate balance – noting that grave consequences follow these powers’ exercise, including losing the right to remain in Australia, and to be a citizen.

The Protected Information Framework will apply to information:

Yet, despite this absence of oversight, the information is afforded inordinate protection from disclosure, testing and review in the administrative and judicial decision-making processes."

Read the full opening statement below.


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