This guide contains links to Internet resources and documents in the
area of anti-terrorism law. Emphasis is on Australian federal (Commonwealth)
legislation. Links to Australian State and Territory legislation are also
given, as well as significant overseas resources.
Current anti-terrorism legislation includes the following:
Criminal Code Act 1995
The main terrorism legislation made after 11 September 2001 is now contained
in this Act at Schedule 1, Part 5.3 (Terrorism), divisions 100-103.
Incitement to criminal acts (including incitement to terrorism) is contained
in Part 2.4 of the Criminal Code
Criminal Code Regulations 2002
These contain the list of proscribed (banned) terrorist organisations
(in Schedule 1).
Part 1AA, Division 3A: Powers to stop, question and search persons in
relation to terrorist acts
Division 4B--Power to obtain information and documents in terrorism
Part 1AE: Video link evidence in proceedings for terrorism offences
Section 15AA: Bail not to be given for terrorist offences.
Section 19AG: Non-parole periods for terrorist offenders.
Part 1C, Division 2: Powers of arrest for terrorist suspects.
See also Part II: Offences against Government & Part IIA: Unlawful
of the United Nations (Terrorism and Dealings with Assets) Regulations
These provide for a
list of terrorist organisations with which financial dealings are
restricted (freezing of assets etc) made under Regulation 8.
Chronology of Legislative and Other Legal Developments
since 11 September 2001 (including a
list of Federal legislation relating to terrorism as at 11 September
This chronology details legislative and other legal developments at the
federal level since 11 September 2001. Notable events are in
A summary of legislation is also available for 2001-mid 2005 in the Attorney-General's
Dept 2005 Budget background paper Security
Environment Update. Scroll down to "Legislation". See
reports submitted by the Government to the United Nations on terrorism
Legislation introduced during 2007
Terrorist car bomb attack on Glasgow Airport (UK).
On 29 June 2 car bombs were defused in London.
On 2 July Dr Mohamed Haneef was arrested in Brisbane
and charged on 14 July with recklessly providing assistance (a mobile
phone SIM card) to a relative later charged over the UK attacks. On 16
July, after being granted bail by a Brisbane magistrate, Dr Haneef has
his 457 work visa revoked by the Immigration Minister and is held in detention
pending his commital hearing on 31 August. On 27 July the Director of
Public Prosecutions after reviewing the material withdraws the charge.
The Immigration Minister returns Dr Haneef's passport and he returns to
India to visit his family on 28 July.
(Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Terrorist Material)
Bill 2007 introduced. Referred to the Senate
Legal and Constitutional Committee to report by 30 July.
Amends the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act
1995 to require that publications, films or computer games which advocate
the doing of a terrorist act must be classified as ‘refused classification’.
Legislation Amendment (2007 Measures No. 1) Bill 2007 introduced.
Referred to the Senate
Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport for
report by 30 July.
Amends the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Civil Aviation
Act 1988 to align aviation security measures with maritime security measures;
extends security measures to outside airport boundaries and implements
drug and alcohol management plans for aviation personnel.
(Interception and Access) Amendment Bill 2007 introduced. Exposure
Draft released February 2007. Referred to the Senate
Legal and Constitutional Committee to report by 1 August.
Iimplements the recommendations arising from the review of the regulation
of access to communications and make other measures to improve the operational
effectiveness of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act
Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Additional Screening Measures)
Bill 2007 (Act
no. 30 of 2007) introduced.
Amends the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 to make regulations to
cover liquids, aerosols and gels and to allow for appropriate frisk searches
at screening points.
Legislation introduced during 2006
Legislation Amendment Bill 2006 (Act
no. 50 of 2007) introduced.
Implements amendments to the Convention on the Physical Protection of
Nuclear Material, done at Vienna on 8 July 2005.
Legislation Amendment (National Investigative Powers and Witness Protection)
Bill 2006 introduced. Referred to Senate
Legal and Constitutional Committee, which reported on 7 February 2007.
Enables more effective investigation of terrorism offences and multi-jurisdictional
and organised crime.
Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill 2006 (Act
no. 169 of 2006) + Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism
Financing (Consequential and Transitional Amendments) Bill introduced.
Implements the revised Forty Recommendations released in June 2003 by
the OECD-based Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering and key
elements of the Task Force’s Special Recommendations on Terrorist
Financing (the Recommendations set the international anti-money laundering
and counter-terrorism standard).
Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Marking of Plastic Explosives)
Bill 2006 (Act
no 3 of 2007) introduced.
Provides for the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the
Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purposes of Detection. Creates an
offence under the Criminal Code to possess, manufacture, traffic in and
import or export plastic explosives which do not have a chemical detection
order issued under anti-terrorism legislation [to Jack Thomas] by
Federal Magistrates Court.
arrested in UK and Pakistan under suspicion of planning to bomb 10
trans Atlantic flights. On 21 August 11 were charged with conspiracy to
murder and various terrorism related offences.
Australian Capital Territory anti-terrorism legislation and requests
that it be amended to conform to other State legislation.
issued by third meeting of the Business-Government Advisory Group on National
Legislation Amendment Bill 2006 (Act
no. 54, 2006) introduced.
In response to recommendations of the former Parliamentary Joint Committee
on ASIO, ASIS and DSD (now the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence
and Security), the bill amends the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
Act 1979 to: extend the existing sunset clause and prior joint committee
review period by 10 years to 22 July 2016 and 22 January 2016, respectively;
clarify the operation of the warrant regime in relation to warrants for
questioning and warrants for questioning and detention; and clarify rights
of persons questioned or detained under the warrant regime.
Transport Security Amendment Bill 2006 (Act
no. 97, 2006) introduced.
Amends the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 to: amend the regulatory
arrangements for airport security by creating event zones that may be
used for handling special events at an airport; regulate the security
and clearance processes for domestic and international cargo before it
is taken onto an aircraft; allow the Secretary to approve alterations
to an existing Transport Security Program; and make technical amendments.
Legislation Amendment (Border Compliance and Other Measures) Bill 2006
Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee report.
Amends the: Customs Act 1901 in relation to: disposal of dangerous goods;
access of security identification card holders to section 234AA places,
ships, aircrafts and wharves; minor corrections to provisions implementing
the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement; provision of updated
information in respect of security identification cards to Customs; implementation
of an Accredited Client Program; and protection from criminal responsibility
for Customs officers handling narcotic goods in the course of duty and
others acting under instructions from Customs officers; and Customs Act
1901 and Customs Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2003 in relation to
issue of seizure warrants.
Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Security Plans and
Other Measures) Bill 2006 (Act
no. 109, 2006) introduced. Senate
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee report.
Amends: the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003
to: simplify the procedures for making changes to maritime, ship and offshore
facilities security plans; clarify measures relating to the plan approval
process; and make technical amendments to clarify the intent of the Act;
18 Acts to make technical amendments as a consequence of the commencement
of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003; and Customs Act 1901 to reflect
the name change to the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security
Australian Law Reform Commission asked to review the sedition provisions
of the Anti-Terrorism Act (No 2) 2005. It reported in July 2006. Report
Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill 2006 (Act
no. 40, 2006) introduced. Senate
Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee report.
Amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 to: establish a
warrant regime for enforcement agencies to access stored communications
held by a telecommunications carrier; and amend the long and short titles
of the Act to reflect this access; and makes consequential amendment to
9 other Acts to reflect the Act’s changed title. Also amends the
Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 to: enable interception of
communications of a person known to communicate with a person of interest;
permit equipment-based interception; remove the distinction between class
1 and class 2 offences; remove the Telecommunications Interception Remote
Authority Connection function currently exercised by the Australian Federal
Police and transfer the associated warrant register function to the Attorney-General’s
Department; and make other amendments in relation to the ongoing operation
of the interception regime.
Legislation introduced during 2005
Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill
2005: Exposure Draft. Referred to the
Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee to report by
13 April 2006.
Proposes a number of amendments to Australia's anti-money laundering and
counter-terrorism financing system, in line with international standards
issued by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.
Anti-Terrorism Bill (No. 2) 2005 (Act
no. 144, 2005) introduced. Senate
Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee report. Draft
of Bill (version 28) as posted on A.C.T. Chief Minister's website
on 14 October. Draft of bill (version
63) as posted on the BoeLawyers website on 31 October. Comparison
of the draft Bills with the Bill as introduced.
Amends several Acts to implement COAG agreed legislation (see September
27 below). Provides for control orders over terrorist suspects for up
to 12 months, allows suspects to be held in preventative detention for
up to 14 days, bans organisations which incite terrorism, creates offences
for urging hostility towards various groups and updates sedition offences
Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005
no. 127, 2005) introduced.
First part of COAG agreed legislation. Amends
the existing offences in the Criminal Code to clarify that it is not necessary
to identify a particular terrorist act upon proving the offence.
For the first time, the government receives advice
on a potential
terrorist threat but will not
Legislation Review Committee, chaired by Hon Simon Sheller QC, established
to review terrorism legislation introduced since 2002
conference following briefing to the Muslim Reference Group re the
proposed terrorism laws
wave of bombings of Bali holiday venues
of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG -
Commonwealth, State and Territory governments) meeting on terrorism laws
of the Roundtable on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist
Financing between the Minister for Justice and Customs and the accountancy
Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Video Link Evidence
and Other Measures) Bill 2005 (Act
no. 136, 2005) introduced.
Amends the: Crimes Act 1914 to: facilitate the use of video link evidence
from overseas witnesses in proceedings for terrorism and other related
offences and proceeds of crime proceedings relating to those offences;
clarify a constitutional issue regarding the conferral of non-judicial
functions and powers on Judges of the Federal Court and Federal Magistrates;
facilitate inter-jurisdictional matching of DNA profiles through a national
database; and expand the definition of “tape recording”; Financial
Transaction Reports Act 1988 to rectify an unintended omission; Foreign
Evidence Act 1994 to facilitate the use of foreign material, such as video
tapes and transcripts of examinations, as evidence in terrorism and related
proceedings when video link evidence is not possible; and provide a discretion
to prevent foreign material being adduced; Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
to: enable payments out of the Confiscated Assets Account to third parties
who carry out examinations for the Commonwealth; and rectify the unintended
consequence of a regulation change that inadvertently affected the legal
status of some examiners; and Surveillance Devices Act 2004 to enable
the issue of a warrant to retrieve a tracking device installed under an
After an internal review of terrorism legislation as a result of the July
London bombings, the Prime Minister announces more
changes to terrorism legislation dealing with
preventative detention, police powers and incitement laws
of Principles issued by the Australian Government
Meeting with Islamic Community Leaders
issued by second meeting of the Industry Roundtable
on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing. The first meeting
was on 21 July 2005
issued by second meeting of the Business-Government
Advisory Group on National Security. The first meeting was in December
issued by first meeting of the Industry Roundtable
on Anti-Money Laundering
Bombings of London underground rail
network and a bus
Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment
(Maritime Security Guards and Other Measures) Bill 2005 (Act
no. 103, 2006) introduced
Amends the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003
in relation to: limited move-on powers for maritime security guards, including
the power to request certain information from a person found in a maritime
security zone; clarifying certain meanings; higher security level declarations;
and correcting references to ship enforcement orders.
Maritime Transport Security Amendment Bill 2005 (Act
no. 67, 2005) introduced
Amends the Maritime Transport Security Act 2003 to: amend the long title
of the Act and rename it as the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities
Security Act 2003; extend application of the Act to Australia’s
offshore oil and gas facilities; and introduce the Maritime Security Identification
Card which will cover unmonitored personnel who are required to be in
maritime security zones and offshore security zones.
Security Information Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 (Act no.
89, 2005) introduced.
Amends the National Security Information Act 2004 to extend
the operation of the Act to include certain civil proceedings.
Security Information (Criminal Proceeding) Amendment (Application) 2005
(Act no. 27, 2005) introduced.
Amends the National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Act
2004 to clarify the application of the Act to certain federal criminal
Legislation introduced during 2004
Note that Parliament was prorogued for the 2004 election on 31 August
and as a result bills which had not passed both chambers lapsed.
Bombing of Australian Embassy,
Federal Parliament prorogued for
2004 election. As a result, bills which have not passed both chambers
Security Amendment Bill 2004 introduced (lapsed; reintroduced
Amends the: Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and Civil
Aviation Act 1988 to allow background checking of holders of security
designated authorisations (particularly flight crew); Aviation Transport
Security Act 2004 to include contractors of Airservices Australia
as aviation industry participants; and Aviation Transport Security
(Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2004 to
allow certain programs under the Air Navigation Act 1920 to continue as
programs under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004.
Legislation Amendment (Telecommunications Offences and Other Measures)
(No. 2) Bill 2004 (Act no. 127, 2004) introduced.
Introduced new telecommunications offences into the Criminal Code
Act 1995 including: (1) using a carriage service for a hoax threat
(maximum penalty: imprisonment for 10 years); (2) using a carriage service
in a way that reasonable people would regard as menacing, harassing or
offensive. This offence specifically includes behaviour directed at the
National Security Hotline. (maximum penalty: imprisonment for 3 years).
This offence does not require an intention to harass, menace or be offensive
or that the victim was in fact harassed, menaced or offended.
Bill (No. 2) 2004 (Act no. 124, 2004) introduced
Revises Australia’s counter-terrorism framework by amending the:
Criminal Code Act 1995 to insert a new offence relating to association
with a terrorist organisation; Transfer of Prisoners Act 1983 to provide
for the transfer of prisoners between State and Territory prisons for
security reasons; and Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977
to make decisions of the Attorney-General made on security grounds exempt
from the application of the Act.
Bill (No. 3) 2004 (Act no. 125, 2004) introduced.
Amends the: Passports Act 1938 to give authorities certain powers
to demand, confiscate and seize foreign passports; Australian Security
Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 to give the ASIO powers to demand
the surrender of Australian and foreign passports in certain circumstances;
and Crimes Act 1914 to facilitate effective disaster victim identification
and criminal investigation in the event of a mass casualty incident within
Devices Bill (No. 2) 2004 introduced. Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04.
Act no. 152, 2004
As below except for: (1) it provides for the inclusion of state law enforcement
agencies, such as the New South Wales Crime Commission and the Western
Australian Corruption and Crime Commission, in addition to state and territory
police forces who may obtain Commonwealth surveillance device warrants
for the investigation of Commonwealth offences. (2) it implements 3 of
the recommendations of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation
Committee report to provide: (a) for a requirement that surveillance device
material held for more than five years be destroyed unless the Chief Officer
certifies that it is still needed for a permitted purpose; (b) that the
period before which an emergency authorisation must be brought before
a judge or AAT member for approval be reduced from `two business days'
to `48 hours'; and (c) for a new civil remedies provision which allows
those who have suffered loss or injury as a result of illegal use of a
surveillance device by the AFP or ACC to sue the Commonwealth. (3) it
allows the Queensland Public Interest Monitor to have a role with respect
to Commonwealth warrants that is consistent with its role regarding state
Bill (No. 2) 2004 (Act no. 124, 2004) introduced.
Amends the: Criminal Code Act 1995 to insert a new offence relating
to association with a terrorist organisation; Transfer of Prisoners
Act 1983 to provide for the transfer of prisoners between State and
Territory prisons for security reasons; and Administrative Decisions
(Judicial Review) Act 1977 to make decisions of the Attorney-General
made on security grounds exempt from the application of the Act.
Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Bill 2004 introduced.
Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no. 150
Provides for the issue of an Attorney-Generals certificate to protect
information from disclosure in federal criminal proceedings where the
disclosure is likely to prejudice national security.
Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) (Consequential Amendments)
Bill 2004 introduced. Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no.
Amends the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977
to limit a courts jurisdiction to determine a defendants application for
review; and to exclude a person from requesting a written statement of
reasons from the Attorney-General; and Judiciary Act 1903 to give the
relevant Supreme Court jurisdiction in respect of applications for writs
of mandamus or prohibition, or injunctions.
(Interception) Amendment (Stored Communications) Bill 2004 introduced.
Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no. 148, 2004
Amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 to exclude access
to stored communications from the current prohibition against interception
Bill 2004 (Act no. 104, 2004) introduced
Amends: Crimes Act 1914 to: extend fixed investigation periods
for investigations into suspected terrorism offences; and permit law enforcement
agencies to suspend or delay questioning a suspect to make overseas inquiries;
Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 in relation
to foreign incursions offences; Criminal Code Act 1995 in relation
to: terrorist organisation membership offences; and offences of providing
training to or receiving training from a terrorist organisation; and Proceeds
of Crime Act 2002 in relation to commercial exploitation by persons
who have committed foreign indictable offences.
Devices Bill 2004 introduced. Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04.
Act no. 152
Establishes procedures for obtaining warrants, emergency authorisations
and authorisations for the installation and use of surveillance devices
in Australia and overseas in relation to criminal investigations and child
recovery orders; and regulates the use, communication, publication, storage,
destruction and making of records in connection with surveillance device
operations. Also makes consequential amendments to the Australian Federal
Police Act 1979, Criminal Code Act 1995, Customs Act 1901
and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987; and contains
transitional and savings provisions and a regulation-making power.
Bombing of Madrid commuter
(Interception) Amendment Bill 2004 (Act no. 55, 2004) introduced
Amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 to: extend the
availability of telecommunications interception warrants to additional
serious offences; extend the protections of the Act in relation to text-based
communications; facilitate the recording of calls to publicly-listed Australian
Security Intelligence Organisation numbers; and clarify the application
of the Act to delayed access message services. Also contains a transitional
Legislation introduced during 2003
Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 (Act no 143, 2003) introduced
Enhances the capacity of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
(ASIO) to exercise its powers for questioning and detaining persons who
have information important to the gathering of intelligence in relation
to a terrorism offence.
Code Amendment (Hamas and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba) Bill 2003 (Act no.
109, 2003) introduced
Amends the Criminal Code Act 1995 to allow the Hamas’ military
wing (Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades) and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba to be listed
as terrorist organisations in regulations, provided the statutory criteria
for listing are met. Also provides for the listings to operate retrospectively
from the date of the public announcement of the Government’s intention
to list the organisations in regulations.
Transport Security Bill 2003 (Act no. 131, 2003) introduced.
Title of Act changed in 2005 to: Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities
Security Act 2003
Establishes a maritime transport security regulatory framework, including
an enforcement regime and provides for flexibility to respond to the changing
threat environment; and aligns Australian maritime transport security
with international obligations under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention
Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill
2002 [No. 2] (Act no 77, 2003) passed with several amendments.
Summary of Amendments as contained in Attorney-General press releases
June 2003 --
17 June 2003).
ASIO laws may be invalid, say law experts (Sydney Morning Herald,
27/6/03, p. 4)
passed (AM, ABC Radio, 26/6/03)
How the ASIO Bill ravages your civil rights (The Age, 23/6/03)
Simon Crean (Australian Labor Party) introduces the Criminal
Code Amendment (Hezbollah External Terrorist Organisation) Bill 2003
to ban the Hezbollah terrorist organisation. First
Reading speech (pp 15042-15043). The Attorney-General in a press
release claims that the bill is "constitutionally uncertain"
Australia signs Memorandum of Understanding with the South Korea on counter-terrorism
Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Bill 2003 (EM)
Criminal Code Amendment (Hizballah) Bill 2003 (EM)
(Act no. 44, 2003) introduced to ban the Hezbollah terrorist organisation
and to allow the government to ban terrorist organisations without reference
United Nations list. Note that both bills together are unnecessary
to outlaw Hezbollah. Either bill would achieve the government's objective
Transport Security Bill 2003 (Act no. 8, 2004) introduced
Introduced with the Aviation Transport Security (Consequential Amendments
and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2003, the bill: restructures the aviation
security regulatory framework and provides for flexibility to respond
to the changing threat environment; aligns Australian aviation security
with the revised International Civil Aviation Organisation standards;
and introduces graduated penalties for a more equitable enforcement regime.
Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill
2002 [No. 2] reintroduced after being withdrawn on 13 December
Explanatory Memorandum to the revised Bill.
Bills Digest to the revised Bill.
Australia signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Philippines on counter-terrorism
Australia signs the 13th Memorandum of Understanding [with Canada] to
exchange financial intelligence to combat money laundering and the financing
of terrorism (Press
Legislation introduced during 2002
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment
(Terrorism) Bill 2002 is laid aside after the Senate and the House
of Representatives reach deadlock on amendments.
Code Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 (Act no 40, 2003) introduced,
to re-enact Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code (which contains federal terrorism
offences enacted in June 2002, and amended in October 2002) so that it
would attract the support of State references of power in accordance with
section 51(xxxvii) of the Constitution.
of the United Nations (Terrorism and Dealings with Assets) Regulations
2002 [Statutory Rule 2002 No. 314] made, repealing the Charter
of the United Nations (Anti-terrorism Measures) Regulations 2001.
Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee issues report
on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment
(Terrorism) Bill 2002 and related matters.
Charter of the United Nations Amendment Bill 2002 introduced to
allow holders of terrorist assets, as well as owners, to apply for permission
to deal with freezable assets. Passed 5/12/02, Act no. 124, 2002.
First meeting of National Counter-Terrorism Committee, which replaces
the Standing Advisory Committee for Commonwealth/State Cooperation for
the Protection Against Violence (SAC-PAV) (Communique)
Code Amendment (Offences against Australians) Act 2002 introduced,
implementing the decision of 24 October to create an offence to murder
or harm Australians outside Australia.
State and Territory Attorneys-General agree to pass legislation to refer
constitutional power to the Commonwealth in the area of counter-terrorism
in order to strengthen the validity of federal laws in this area (News
Government outlaws Jemaah Islamiyah, a terrorist organisation suspected
of being behind the Bali Bombings (Criminal
Code Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 3) [Statutory Rule no. 250 of
After a meeting of the Prime Minister and State and Territory leaders,
the Prime Minister announces new measures as a result of the Review of
Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Arrangements started on 12 October. Measures
include: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to take
over responsibility for counter-terrorism policy from the Attorney-General's
Department and introduction of an extra-territorial murder offence where
Australians have been victims of atrocities overseas. The legislation
will operate retrospectively from 1 October 2002. (Press
Amendment Act 2002 passed to allow Crimtrac, the national DNA
database, to be used to identify Bali victims [Explanatory
Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Act 2002 introduced
and passed the same day to enable outlawed terrorist organisation regulations
to take immediate effect [Explanatory
Government outlaws the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation (Criminal
Code Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 2) [Statutory Rule no. 249
of 2002]: Explanatory
statement) [Current reprint of
Criminal Code Regulations 2002]
Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills issues report
on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation
Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 and highlights concerns with human
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism)
Bill 2002 introduced into the Senate (Hansard
pages 5126-5128). Further debated on 17 October (Hansard
pages 5279-5300) and 21 October (Hansard
pages 5347-5357, 5392-5393) when it is referred, for a second time,
Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee to report by
Bali terrorist bombings
kill Australians and other nationals. Government
orders review of current terrorist legislation (Press
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation
Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 passes House of Representatives (Hansard
House of Representatives resumes debate (Hansard
pages 6789-6824) on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002, while the Government
Amendments to the Bill in response to the recommendations in the report
of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD. (Press
release). Debate continues on 23 September (Hansard
Australia becomes a party to the International
Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (as from
8 September). (Press
Attorney-General announces changes to terrorism bills in the light of
the Senate Committee report (News
with Christopher Pyne MP about the changes. Most bills pass through Parliament
by 27 June, receive the Royal Assent on 3-5 July and become law.
Leaders Summit on Terrorism and Multi-jurisdictional Crime provides for
significant changes to terrorism management (News
/ States and Territories Agreement on Terrorism and Transnational Crime
Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act
2002 introduced into the House of Representatives. Provides for
the detention and questioning of people for up to 48 hours in order to
gather information about terrorist attacks.
The bill was referred to the Senate
Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee and the Joint Parliamentary
Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD for report in June 2002.
the Attorney-General about the Bill (ABC Radio National AM 22/3/02).
The government's main package of anti-terrorism legislation introduced:
Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002 [no. 2] [Bill
no. 1 was withdrawn on 13 March because of a drafting error and bill no.
2 was substituted. Defines "terrorist act" and makes it an offence];
of the Financing of Terrorism Act 2002; Criminal
Code Amendment (Suppression of Terrorist Bombings) Act 2002;
Security Legislation Amendment Act 2002 and the Telecommunications
Interception Legislation Amendment Act 2002. For explanatory
memorandum, the Attorney-General's 2nd reading speech, and bills digest
for these bills see the Old
Debate on the bills was as follows:
House of Representatives
1st and 2nd readings: 12 March
2nd and 3rd readings: 13 March
Consideration of Senate amendments: 27 June
1st and 2nd readings: 14th March;
2nd and 3rd readings: 27 June
The bills were referred to the Senate
Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, which reported in
Code Amendment (Anti-Hoax and Other Measures) Act 2002 introduced
into Parliament. The first of the Goverment's package of anti-terrorism
legislation. For explanatory memorandum, 2nd reading speech and bills
digest, see the Old
Legislation introduced during 2001
As the House of Representatives was dissolved and the
Parliament, including the Senate, was prorogued on 8 October 2001 prior
to the general election on 10th November 2001, no legislation relating
to terrorism was introduced into Parliament until February and March 2002.
The government, however, made regulations under existing legislation in
2001 and these are listed below. The result of the election was
that the Liberal and National Party Coalition was returned.
Government lists in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette the
names of terrorists and terrorist organisations whose assets must be frozen
by the holder of those assets under the Charter of the United Nations
(Anti-terrorism Measures) Regulations 2001. This implements
Australia's obligation under UN Security Council Resolution 1373 of 28
For additions and amendments, see the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Against Terrorism page
Prime Minister and Justice Minister Chris Ellison say government will
discuss with States and Territories a proposal for a new Commonwealth
authority to fight terrorism (Prime
Minister's press release).
Australia signs Terrorist
Financing Convention (Attorney-General's
Prime Minister proposes new anti-hoax legislation if re-elected after
10 November (Prime
Minister's News release)
of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations (Statutory
Rules no 297/2001) made. Explanatory
Statement [plain English guide]. Later repealed by the
Charter of the United Nations (Terrorism and Dealings with Assets) Regulations
of the United Nations (Sanctions - Afghanistan) Amendment Regulations
2001 (Statutory Rules no 298/2001) made. Explanatory
Statement [plain English guide]
Reserve Bank of Australia gazettes a Variation of Authority under Regulation
39 of the Banking
(Foreign Exchange) Regulations prohibiting foreign currency transactions
with various terrorist organisations (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette,
no. S 416, 5 October 2001) (Reserve
Bank media release - reproduces annex of gazette notice). Amended
on 17th October (Gazette, no. S439) (Reserve
Bank media release showing amendments). Further amended on 9th November
(Gazette, no. S462) (Reserve
Bank media release) and on 22 May 2002 (Gazette, no. GN 20). Government
revokes Variations in September 2002 as they are now covered by the Charter
of the United Nations (Anti-terrorism Measures) Regulations 2001 (Gazette
no. GN 37 18 September 2002)
Cabinet approves new anti-terrorism legislation to be introduced if the
government is returned after the election on 10 November (Attorney-General's
Attorney-General's Dept establishes an interdepartmental committee to
review federal counter-terrorism laws (Attorney-General's
Attorney-General indicates that Australia is a party to 8 of the 11 anti-terrorism
international conventions and provides information on implementing another
The Prime Minister tells Parliament that the events of 11 September constitute
an attack on the United States under articles IV and V of the ANZUS
Defence Treaty (House
of Representatives Hansard, 17 September 2001, p. 30739) (Press
release, 14th September 2001)
Federal legislation relating to terrorism as
at 11 September 2001
Navigation Act 1991
Part 3 Aviation security
Implements: Convention on
International Civil Aviation; International
Air Services Transit Agreement
Navigation Regulations 1947
Part 7 Aviation security
Federal Police Act 1979
Protective Service Act 1987
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1988
Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979
(Foreign Exchange) Regulations 1946
Regulations 8(1)(a), 38-39
of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations 2001
(Statutory Rules no 297/2001)
of the United Nations (Sanctions - Afghanistan) Regulations 2001
(Statutory Rules no 181/2001)
of the United Nations (Sanctions - Afghanistan) Amendment Regulations
2001 (Statutory Rules no 298/2001)
Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994
on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use
of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction
(Aviation) Act 1991
Convention on Offences and certain other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft
(the Tokyo Convention of 1963); Convention
for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (the Hague Convention
of 1970); and the Convention
for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation
(the Montreal Convention of 1971
(Biological Weapons) Act 1976
on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of
Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction
(Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) 1978
(Hostages) Act 1989
Convention Against The Taking Of Hostages
(Internationally Protected Persons) Act 1976
on the prevention and punishment of crimes against internationally protected
persons, including diplomatic agents
(Ships and Fixed Platforms) Bill 1992
for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime
Navigation and the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against
the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf.
Code Act 1995
Sections 70, 89-89A, Parts II, IIA, VII
(Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956
Regulation 4A Importation of objectionable goods
Part III Division 1 Calling out and directing utilisation of Defence
(Special Undertakings) Act 1952
Services Act 2001
Section 501 Refusal or cancellation of visa on character grounds
Schedule 2 (786.224) Provisions with respect to the grant of Subclasses
Crime Authority Act 1984
Road Transport Commission Act 1991
Section 41B National security and special circumstances exemptions —
Australian Defence Force
Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987
(Submerged Lands) Act 1984
Section 140B Emergency periods
of Crimes Act 1987
Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971
Part 16 Defence requirements and disaster plans
(Interception) Act 1979
of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995
Further implements: Biological
Weapons Convention, the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Chemical
Terrorism Court Cases
Early terrorism cases include the following:
||The first person charged under the 2002 legislation.
He was acquitted in April 2005 of two charges of preparing for a terrorist
act, when a jury found he had not planned to shoot dead ASIO and Foreign
Affairs officers in a suicide mission. He pleaded guilty to threatening
to kill a Commonwealth officer and was jailed for 2 1/2 years. R v
NSWSC 317 ; 
||Joseph Thomas ("Jihad" Jack Thomas)
||Was found guilty of intentionally receiving funds from al-Qaeda
and holding a false passport. The first person convicted under terrorism
funding legislation. Sentenced to a maximum of 5 years jail with a
minimum of 2 years. Sentence overturned on appeal; confession not
freely given- R v Thomas 
VSCA 165. On 28/8/06 was subject to the first
control order. High Court challenge to the control order: Thomas
v Mowbray & Ors, preliminary hearing 2/10/06,
main hearing 5/12/06,
upholding control order, 2/8/07.
||Found guilty of conspiring to blow up the Israeli embassy. Jailed
for 9 years. R v Roche 
WASCA 4. Note that the conviction was under pre-2002 legislation
(Crimes Act s.86, as at 2000) and not under terrorism legislation.
||Faheem Khalid Lodhi
||First person to be convicted of preparing for a terrorist act. Also
found guilty on 2 other charges. Sentenced on 23/8/06 to 20 years
jail, with 15 year non-parole period. R v Lodhi 
NSWSC 691. Several related NSW Supreme Court cases 2005+ - see
||Charged with inciting terrorism by producing a book on how to wage
a jihad. Awaiting trial.
Charged with training with a terrorist organisation. NSW pre-trial
hearings 27/5/2004 hearing
High Court hearing re constitutionality of legislation 6/7/06
and again on 9/2/07.
Trial delayed due to applications to High Court.
||Abdul Nacer Benbrika
||Arrested along with 21 others. Charged with being a leader of a
terrorist cell. Trial July 2007.
||John Howard Amundsen
||Charged with using false documents to obtain explosives, preparing
to commit an act of terrorism, using telecommunications to make a
threat and a hoax threat, possessing a foreign passport without reasonable
excuse, and making counterfeit money or counterfeit securities. Terrorism
charges dropped, February 2007.
||First non-Muslim related terrorist charges
||Two Melbourne men charged with being members of the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) in Sri Lanka. AFP
press release, 1/5/07. Victorian
Supreme Court bail application, 17/7/07.
A Summit of Commonwealth and State and Territory Leaders (Leaders’
Summit), held in Canberra on 5 April 2002, resulted in the State governments
referring their powers over terrorism offences to the Commonwealth. The
Code Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2003 provides for the Commonwealth
to legislate in this area, with agreement from the States for any future
amendments. As a result, there is little State and Territory legislation
relating to anti-terrorism, although in September 2005 several State governments
announced new proposals, including preventative detention measures.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Only key reports and special issues of law journals are listed below.
For further items, search the Parlinfo
database and select Library for journal articles, books and
library publications, and Media for newspaper articles and media
releases. Although full text searchable, for copyright reasons some material
on Parlinfo may be available only to those using the Parliament House
Rights 2003: the year in review. Session 1. The war on terror. Papers
by Hilary Charlesworth (Is the war on terror compatible with human rights?:
an international law perspective); Simon Bronitt (Australia's Legal
Response to Terrorism: Neither Novel nor Extraordinary?) + related papers.
Organised by the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University
and the rule of law (N. Cowdery)
legislative response to terrorism (Duncan Kerr)
rights in an age of terrorism (Ivan Shearer)
human rights on trial: the United Kingdom’s and Australia’s
legal response to 9/11 (C. Michaelsen, 25 Sydney Law Review
Counter terrorism and the criminalisation of politics: Australia's new
security powers of detention, proscription and control (J. Hocking,
Australian J. of Politics & History, v. 49(3), Sept. 2003)
[Not available outside the Parliamentary network]
'Counter-terrorism' laws: a threat to political freedom, civil liberties
and constitutional rights (M. Head, Melbourne University Law
Review, v. 26(3), 2003) [Not available outside the Parliamentary
network] Based on material previously published on the World
Socialist Web Site and to be published electronically on Austlii
Terror and the ambit claim: Security Legislation Amendment (Terrorism)
Act 2002 (Cth) (G. Carne, Public Law Review, v. 14(1),
March 2003) [Not available outside the Parliamentary network]
ASIO's new powers (Interview with the Attorney-General, 24/6/03)
year on: Australia's legal response to September 11 (G. Williams)
Counter-terrorism bills (S. Pritchard. Bar Brief, Winter
2002, pp. 10-17)
- Globalising Terror, Political Violence in the New Millennium Conference,
Hobart, 8-10 May 2002. Selected papers
- Terrorism and the law in Australia: (Nathan Hancock, Australian Department
of the Parliamentary Library)
commentary and constraints (82 pages)
Describes proposals announced in anticipation of legislation introduced
in 2002 in the context of existing arrangements. It also provides a
framework and criteria for evaluation of those laws and detailed analysis
for parliamentary consideration (Research paper no. 12 2001-02)
materials (66 pages)
Contains a series of documents on specific issues related to legislative
and administrative arrangements (Research paper no. 13 2001-02)
legislating for security (2 pages) (Nathan Hancock, Australian Department
of the Parliamentary Library)
Discusses legislation on terrorism as at 11 September 2001, proposals
for change and issues of concern
new anti-terrorism laws
Interview with the Attorney-General on The Law Report of 12/2/02
concerning civil liberties aspects of strengthening anti-terrorism laws
right of self-defence under international law: responding to the terrorist
attacks of 11 September (Angus Martyn, Australian Dept of the Parliamentary
Apocalyptic Visions and the Law: The Legacy of September 11
A professorial address by Andrew Byrnes at the ANU Law School for the
Faculty's 'Inaugural and Valedictory Lecture Series', 30 May 2002
These international treaties have been, or are being implemented, into
domestic law by legislation. Unless indicated, the text of each treaty
may be found as a schedule to its implementing act. See also 'The
Prevention and Prosecution of Terrorist Acts: A Survey of Multilateral
Instruments', The Record (NY City Bar), vol 62 no 1, 2007.
Some good websites for keeping up to date include:
The main anti-terrorism offences are in Part II.1 of the Criminal
Code (sections 83.01+). Two major amending acts which formed
the basis of this legislation are:
Background to the Act.
18 September 2001
of Commons devotes much of the day to the topic of Anti-Terrorism
15 October 2001
Anti-terrorism Bill ( Bill no. C-36. Introduced 15th October 2001
by Hon. Anne McLellan, Minister of Justice and Attorney General). It amends
the Criminal Code, the Official Secrets Act, the Canada Evidence Act,
the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act and other acts, and enacts
measures respecting the registration of charities, in order to combat
The text of the Bill may be found on the Parliament
site and on the University of Toronto
Law Library website which also has extensive links to related Canadian
and overseas resources. The bill became act
number 41 of 2001 (186 pages long)
Parliamentary debates and information about the remaining stages of the
Bill may be found in the Hansard
index under the heading: "Anti-terrorism Bill (C-36)". Analysis
of the Bill by the Canadian Parliamentary Library [available within
The Bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human
Rights. Its Minutes
of Proceedings and Evidence contain discussion of the Bill. ( Note
loading of evidence appears to take several days). The Report
of the Committee was tabled on 22 November 2001
of the Bill from the Dept of Justice.
and Balances Under the Proposed Anti-Terrorism Act
Fact sheet from the Dept of Justice
Center for Public Publicy Alternatives (CCPA) analysis of Bill C-36 -
An Act to Combat Terrorism
human rights and providing security: Amnesty International's comments
with respect to Bill C-36
on the Bill (from LEGISinfo - Canadian Parliamentary Library)
on the Bill (from LEGISinfo - Canadian Parliamentary Library)
Other Canadian Information
- K. Roach, 'A
comparison of Australian and Canadian anti-terrorism laws.' University
of NSW Law Journal, vol. 30, 2007, pp. 53-85
Limits, Security: a Comprehensive Review of the Anti-Terrorism Act and
Related Issues, March 2007 (Canada. Parliament. House of Commons.
Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. Subcommittee
on the Review of the Anti-terrorism Act)
Impact of Anti-Terrorism Legislation on Charities: The Shadow of the
Law by Terrance S. Carter, Carter & Associates, 2005. Detailed
overview of anti-terrorism legislation
- Carter and Associates (Law
This site provides information, articles and resource materials dealing
with the newly passed anti-terrorist and associated legislation in Canada
- List of banned
terrorist organisations in Canada (Dept of the Solicitor General)
- Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 (formerly Terrorism (Bombings and Financing)
Suppression Bill 2002)
- Counter-terrorism Bill 2002 (introduced 17 December 2002 and passed
22 October 2003). Amends the Crimes Act 1961, Terrorism Suppression
Act 2002, etc. Text of Act not available
Act 2006 (introduced 12 October 2005) receives Royal assent
after lengthy debate. Deals with incitement, strengthens powers of various
agencies and redefines terrorism.
of Terrorism Act 2005 enacted after long debate. Aims
to replace the Part 4 powers in the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security
Act 2001 with a new scheme of Control Orders.
- 2001 November 12
Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill 2001 introduced (Bill
49 of 2001-2002)
of Commons debates on the Bill (November 19, 21, December 12)
of Lords debates on the Bill (November 27-29, December 3-4,
6, 10-11, 13)
of Commons Library Research Paper on the Bill [Published in several
parts. See Paper numbers 92, 94, 96-99, 101]
report of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on the Bill,
15 November 2001
report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on the
Bill, 14 November 2001
Fifth report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
on the Bill, 3 December 2001
- 2001 October 15
Home Secretary David Blunkett outlines proposed new measures to strengthen
current anti-terrorism legislation. House
of Commons Hansard 15 October 2001, column 923
- 2000 July 20
Act 2000, no. 11, receives Royal Assent. Some of its provisions
come into force immediately, while most take effect from 19 February
2001. The Act reforms and extends previous counter-terrorist legislation,
and puts it largely on a permanent basis. Explanatory Notes to the Act
are linked at the bottom of the first page.
The main anti-terrorism Act passed after 11 September is the USA Patriot
Act 2001 (Bill no.
H.R. 3162; Public
Law no: 107-56). The Homeland Security Act 2002 (Bill
no. H.R. 5005; Public
Law no: 107-296) creates a new Department of Homeland Security to oversee
national security matters previously the responsibility of 22 separate agencies.
Other versions of the Patriot Act and related legislation were also introduced.
These may be found in the sites listed below. Current terrorism offences
are reprinted mainly in the US
Code, Title 18, Chapter 113B.
Legislative proposals leading to the PATRIOT Act and other legislation
Analysis of the PATRIOT Act
Legislation and Practice: A Survey of Selected Countries (UK
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 2005)
Covers Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain,
- Law Library Resource
Xchange (LLRX) 9-11-2001 News and Legal Resources, Information and Related
Services: International Resources
Has links to developments around the world at a national level since
11 September 2001
law and policy
Links to foreign legislation, compiled by JURIST, the US legal education
reports to the UN Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee re
legislation etc passed to implement Council Resolution 1373 of 2001
- Asia-Pacific Cross-Border
Online Rights Network (ACORN)
Examines national security laws introduced after 11 September 2001 in
the context of human rights
Pacific Islands Forum Declaration on Anti-terrorism strategy (Nasonini
Declaration on Regional Security, August 2002)
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' APEC
Counter Terrorism Task Force (Los Cabos, Mexico, 27 October 2002)
- Meeting of Commonwealth Law Ministers, Kingstown, St Vincent and
the Grenadines, 18-21 November 2002. Communique
on terrorism, [on pages 3-4]
- Indonesia. Analysis
of the Presidential decrees of 18 October 2002 on counter terrorism
by Prof Tim Lindsey, University of Melbourne
- Country reports on
terrorism (previously Patterns of global terrorism) (US Dept
Annual overview of terrorist incidents and organisations since 1995
- South Asia Terrorism Portal
Maintained by the Institute for Conflict Management, India, this site
provides a wide range of documents, legislation and analysis for several
south Asian countries.
- International Commission of Jurists
Information on the ICJ Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism
and Human Rights and text of the E-bulletin on counter-terrorism &
OTHER GUIDES TO TERRORISM RESOURCES
- A Research
Guide to Cases and Materials on Terrorism (May 2006), compiled by
Andrew Grossman. Although reasonably well structured this guide has
uneven and patchy coverage. Despite its title, it concentrates on US
and UK material .
Against Terrorism links. Compiled in Canada this site has hundreds
of links to documents and information arranged into subject categories.
Regularly updated. Documents and Civil Liberties categories are particularly
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