ASIO questioning powers under Committee scrutiny

THE Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced a review into the effectiveness of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020. The bill review was requested by the Minister for Home Affairs in a letter to the Committee available here.

The Bill amends the compulsory questioning framework in the ASIO Act by:

  • enabling ASIO’s continued use of questioning warrants, but removing its ability to use questioning and detention warrants;
  • replacing the existing detention framework with a more limited apprehension framework; 
  • enabling the use of questioning warrants in relation to espionage, politically motivated violence (including terrorism) and acts of foreign interference; 
  • providing the power for a police officer to conduct a search of a person who is apprehended in connection with a questioning warrant; and
  • permitting ASIO to seek a questioning warrant in relation to minors aged 14 to 18 years old, but only where the minor is themselves the target of an ASIO investigation in relation to politically motivated violence 

The Committee requests submissions to the inquiry by Friday June 26, 2020.

Prospective submitters are advised that any submission to the Committee’s inquiry must be prepared solely for the inquiry and should not be published prior to being accepted by the Committee.

Further information about making a submission to a committee inquiry can be found at the following link.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.


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