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Recommendation 226

Review the extent and scope of laws governing secret surveillance and moderate the powers and discretion conferred on authorities in this regard

Criminal justice
Population group
Australian Government Agency and/or Jurisdiction
  • Attorney-General's Department
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • States and territories
Australia's Response
Australia's Position

The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor Act provides for the appointment of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM). The INSLM independently reviews the operation, effectiveness and implications of national security and counter-terrorism laws, and considers whether the laws contain appropriate protections for individual rights, remain proportionate to terrorism or national security threats, and remain necessary. The INSLM has access to all relevant material, including classified material, can compel answers to questions, and holds public and private hearings.

The Australian Government has acknowledged the need for wider reform of laws relating to telecommunications interception as part of the government response to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security's Report of the inquiry into potential reforms of Australia's national security legislation.

The Australian Government passed data retention legislation in 2015 which will be reviewed under statute by that Parliamentary Committee in 2019.
Further information on data retention, telecommunications interception and surveillance are available on the Data retention and Telecommunications interception and surveillance pages on the Department of Home Affairs website.

For information about state and territory policies and programmes related to national security and counter-terrorism visit the What Australia is doing page on the Australian National Security website.