Law Council of Australia


National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017

The submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s inquiry into the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was prepared by the Law Council and acknowledges the assistance of its National Criminal Law Committee, Military Justice Committee of the Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section, National Human Rights Committee and National Integrity Working Group.

The Bill seeks to amend and introduce a broad range of offences in the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (Criminal Code) targeting the activities of foreign actors, and those acting on their behalf, who seek to work against Australia’s interests through a variety of means, including by obtaining classified information or seeking to influence the outcome of Australia’s democratic process.

The concerns of the Bill include harm to Australia’s national security, military capabilities, alliance relationships, and Australia’s economic and political stability.1

The Bill, if enacted, would make significant changes to a range of Commonwealth criminal offences, including (but not limited to) creating new offences for treason, espionage, foreign interference, sabotage, interference with political rights and duties, damaging Commonwealth property, false or misleading conduct in relation to a security clearance and secrecy contraventions.

You can read the full submission below.


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