Question No. 911
Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister in the Senate on 17 August 2011:
In regard to the Council of Australian Governments' review of counter-terrorism legislation agreed to on 10 February 2006 and supposedly to commence in late 2010:
(1) What are the reasons for the delayed commencement of the review.
(2) When will the review finally commence.
(3) Who will chair the review committee.
(4) Who will be the remaining members of the committee.
(5) When will the submission and hearing process become public.
(6) Will the broad scope of the review, outlined in the 2006 communiqué, be refined to more precise terms of reference.
(7) How will the office of the Independent National Security Legislation
Monitor be engaged in relation to the review.
Senator Evans - The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:
(1) The Commonwealth continues to work towards the commencement of the Review and will finalise the arrangements through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) as soon as possible. COAG needs to agree to the funding, terms of reference and membership of the Review Committee.
The commencement of the Review was delayed in the first half of 2011 while the Government considered the intersection of the COAG Review with the role of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor. Certain provisions of the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Crimes Act 1914 are reviewable by both the COAG Review and the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.
(2) The Review will commence as soon as the arrangements have been agreed through COAG.
(3) The chair of the Review Committee has been nominated by the National Counter-Terrorism Committee Legal Issues Sub-Committee and needs to be confirmed by COAG before being announced.
(4) The remaining members of the Review Committee have been nominated by the National Counter-Terrorism Committee Legal Issues Sub-Committee and will need to be confirmed by COAG before being announced.
(5) The Review Committee will determine the submission and hearing process after it has been formally appointed.
(6) Yes. The terms of reference for the Review will indicate the specific pieces of Commonwealth and State and Territory legislation to be reviewed.
(7) The Review Committee will take account of the appointment of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (the Monitor) and the role of the Monitor in reviewing Commonwealth national security and counter terrrorism legislation. The Government expects the Review Committee will engage with the Monitor in a productive way, such as through sharing relevant documents on Commonwealth legislation to avoid unnessecary duplication.