Opening Statement to Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
16 March 2018
Morry Bailes, President, Law Council of Australia
The Law Council welcomes many of the amendments to the Bill, which appear to pick up points raised by the Law Council in its initial submission to the Committee on 22 January 2018.
These amendments include:
- amendments to the secrecy offences to introduce a division between communications coming from current or former Commonwealth Officers from those of persons other than Commonwealth Officers;
- the broadening of the journalist defence;
- the tightened definition of ‘security classification’ to Secret and Top Secret classifications or equivalent classifications made by regulations; and
- the removal of strict liability for certain offences.
While these amendments are welcome, the Law Council wishes to emphasise the need for further improvements to be made on a broad range of other proposed offences.
Read full statement below.