Introduction

6.1          In Chapter 4 the ALRC recommends that ss 70 and 79(3) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) be repealed, and that a number of new, more targeted, offences should be enacted in the Criminal Code (Cth).[1] In the Discussion Paper, Review of Secrecy Laws (DP 74), the ALRC proposed a range of offences addressing the disclosure of Commonwealth information by Commonwealth officers, and the subsequent disclosure of such information by any other person who disclosed the information knowing that it had been originally disclosed in breach of the law.[2]

6.2          In this chapter, the ALRC considers some of the elements of those offences, including whose conduct, and what kind of conduct, should be regulated. The ALRC also recommends a new offence for the subsequent disclosure of Commonwealth information by any person who receives the information in confidence. Chapter 7 goes on to consider what exceptions and defences should be available under the recommended offence provisions, and what penalties should apply for breach.

[1]           Sections 70 and 79(3) are described in detail in Chs 3 and 4, and set out in full in Appendix 5.

[2]           Australian Law Reform Commission, Review of Secrecy Laws, Discussion Paper 74 (2009), Proposals
8–1 and 8–3.