Other review mechanisms

Australian Human Rights Commission

3.50     The AHRC, as part of its role under the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth), has the power to review laws to determine whether they are compatible with Australia’s human rights obligations. Such a review may be conducted under a reference from the Attorney-General, or because it appears to the AHRC desirable to do so.[77] It is required to report to the Attorney-General on its review,[78] and to include any recommendations for amendments of an enactment to ensure it is not inconsistent with, or contrary to, any human right.[79] The Attorney-General is required to table a copy of any such report within 15 sitting days of receipt of the report.[80]

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

3.51     The INSLM must review, on his or her own initiative, or arising from a reference from the Prime Minister or the Intelligence Committee, the operation, effectiveness and implications of Australia’s counter-terrorism and national security legislation, and any other laws which relate to counter-terrorism or national security.[81] As part of its review, the INSLM must consider whether these laws contain appropriate safeguards to protect the rights of the individual, and are proportionate and necessary.[82] The INSLM is required to give the Prime Minister an annual report relating to the above functions.[83] The Prime Minister must table the annual report before Parliament within 15 sitting days.[84]

3.52     As discussed above, the Intelligence Committee is also specifically tasked with a post-implementation review of a number of provisions relating to counter-terrorism and national security.

Australian Law Reform Commission

3.53     The ALRC conducts reviews into matters referred to it by the Attorney-General.[85] In conducting a review, the ALRC must aim to ensure that the laws, proposals and recommendations it reviews, considers or makes ‘do not trespass unduly on personal rights and liberties’.[86] It is required to report on its review to the Attorney-General,[87] who must table the report within 15 sitting days.[88]