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Law Council of Australia


Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020

The submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (Committee) review of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Bill 2020 (Bill) was prepared by the Law Council. 

The Bill contains two significant expansions of the intelligence collection powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) under the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (Cth) (ASIO Act). They propose to:

The Law Council acknowledges the important role of ASIO in keeping Australia and Australians safe from national security threats, and the need for its powers to be adequate to support this function. However, such powers should not exceed what is necessary and proportionate to respond to identified security threats.

Accordingly, the Law Council welcomes the proposal not to renew ASIO’s existing powers to detain a person for up to seven days to conduct compulsory questioning (questioning-and-detention warrants), which is consistent with the Law Council’s longstanding position on the power of detention for intelligence collection purposes.

You can read the full submission below.

1 ASIO Act, s 26E (warrantless use of tracking devices).


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