Independent Monitor Of Anti-terror Laws Should Be Implemented Swiftly

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8th September 2009, 12:54pm - Views: 586





Media Release


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19 Torrens St Braddon

ACT 1612 || GPO Box 1989

Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone +61 2 6246 3788

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MR2309

8 September 2009


Independent Monitor of Anti-Terror Laws

Should be Implemented Swiftly

The Law Council has welcomed the release of a Senate report which

supports its calls for an independent person to review the nation’s anti-

terror laws. 

The report, released yesterday by the Senate Finance and Public

Administration Legislation Committee into the National Security

Legislation Monitor Bill 2009, unequivocally affirms the need for a

dedicated role for an independent reviewer of Australia’s national security

legislation. 

Law Council President John Corcoran said, “Since 2002, we have

been

calling for the Government to establish such a role.”

The Senate Committee report recommends several important

amendments to the Bill, which aim to strengthen the independence of the

role and improve transparency.

“The Law Council is particularly pleased to see recommendations that the

monitor should be able to initiate their own inquiries rather than being

reliant or referrals from the Prime Minister only, and that the monitor

should report to Parliament, not just the Prime Minister,”

Mr Corcoran

said.

Mr Corcoran also welcomed the recommendation by the Committee that

the Government actively and regularly assess the adequacy of the

resources and staff allocated to the monitor. “Unless the monitor has

sufficient resources, they will not be able to perform the role properly.”

He said the Law Council hoped

that the Government will accept the

Senate Committee’s recommendations, move to amend the Bill as

suggested and ensure its swift passage through Parliament.

“The Australian community has waited long enough for a mechanism for

ongoing, comprehensive and independent review of our national security

laws. It is now time for the Government to act,” Mr Corcoran concluded.

Media Contact:

Elenore Eriksson, Director Public Affairs 

P. 02 6246 3716 || M. 0419 269 855


The Law Council of Australia exists to represent the legal

profession at the national level, to speak on behalf of its

constituent bodies on national issues, and to promote the

administration of justice, access to justice and general

improvement of the law.






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