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Review of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Declared Areas) Bill 2024

The Law Council of Australia provided a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security as part of the Committee’s review of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Declared Areas) Bill 2024 (the Bill).

The Bill would, among other things, extend the declared areas offence, contained in section 119.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Criminal Code) and related ministerial powers, for a further three years, to 7 September 2027. That offence and the related powers are currently due to sunset on 7 September 2024.

The Law Council appreciates that the task of developing and implementing legal mechanisms to effectively prevent, deter, disrupt and denounce the activities of so called ‘foreign terrorist fighters’ is complex and challenging. A decade after the establishment of the declared area regime under the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Act 2014 (Cth), this review is an important opportunity to carefully scrutinise the ongoing necessity of this regime. The continuation of this extraordinary offence should not be assumed and should be re-evaluated in light of changes in the security environment and the practical experience drawn from the operation of Australia’s counter-terrorism framework in the last decade.1

Read the full submission below.


1 See further regarding the general trend towards exceptional measures, departing from orthodox rule of law and criminal law principles, being increasingly seen as normal aspects of the criminal justice system: Rebecca Ananian Welsh and George Williams ‘The New Terrorists: the Normalisation and Spread of Anti-Terror Laws in Australia’ (2014) 38 Melbourne University Law Review 362-408.

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