Law Council launches National Security Committee
15 October 2021
The Law Council of Australia has established a National Security Committee to guide its advocacy on the operation of Australia’s laws, policies and practices as the domestic and global security environment evolves.
“For the entirety of our 88 years of operation, the Law Council has always sought to improve the quality of the laws passed in this vital arena, through balancing the upholding of our national security, with, the preservation of the fundamental liberties which underpin our civil society,” Law Council of Australia President, Dr Jacoba Brasch QC said.
“In view of the importance of national security, the complexity of the issues that face us as a nation, and the legislative changes contemplated to address these challenges, the time is right to inaugurate a dedicated team of experts to provide insight and input.”
Over the next three years in particular, the Government will implement its response to the 203 recommendations of Mr Dennis Richardson AC’s Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community. This is set to include a wholesale rewriting of Commonwealth electronic and surveillance laws.
Mr Lloyd Babb SC has been appointed the National Security Committee’s inaugural chair for a term of three years.
For a decade, Mr Babb served as the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions. He has an extensive and distinguished background in criminal law.
“We are incredibly grateful Lloyd has agreed to lead the Law Council’s contribution to the national debate on security and the law,” Dr Brasch said.
“Under Lloyd’s foundational guidance, the National Security Committee will provide advice on the operation, effectiveness and implications of Australia’s national security laws while making sure our national security policies and laws contain appropriate safeguards for protecting the rights of individuals and are proportionate to any threat.”
The National Security Committee will build upon, and will continue to utilise the expertise of, the Law Council’s expert advisory committees who have contributed to its long-standing advocacy in this field: the National Criminal Law Committee, National Human Rights Committee, Business Law Section, and Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section.
The Law Council is currently finalising the National Security Committee membership and expects it to meet for the first time in November 2021.
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