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Law Council of Australia


Supplementary Submission: Inquiry into the Impact of the Exercise of Law Enforcement and Intelligence Powers on the Freedom of the Press

The Law Council is grateful to have had the opportunity to appear before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (the Committee) on 14 August 2019 in relation to the inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press (the Inquiry).

As the Committee would be aware, in the Law Council’s first written submission, it was recommended that the determination of warrants authorising investigative action of journalists or media organisations, either as the suspect of an offence or as a third party in possession of information relevant to an investigation, would be improved through a three-step approach involving the:

(a) introduction of a legislative public interest test similar to which occurs under the test provided in section 180T of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth) (TIA Act);
(b) requirement that a ‘issuing officer’ is a judge of a superior court of record rather than that currently provided in section 3C of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth); and
(c) adoption of a Public Interest Advocate (PIA) or Public Interest Monitor (PIM) regime that includes appropriate transparency and accountability mechanisms.

You can read the full submission below.


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