CANBERRA, Australia May 30 (NNN-Xinhua) The Turnbull government will undertake the most significant review of security and intelligence legislation in more than 40 years, Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter said.
The landmark inquiry will examine the legal framework underpinning Australia's intelligence community and capability, amid growing concerns that threats to national security are not appropriately handled.
Former head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), Dennis Richardson, will head the review, which marks the most comprehensive investigation of intelligence legislation in Australia since the Hope royal commission on Intelligence and Security in the 1974.
Porter's statement claimed that Richardson, who has also served as Australia's ambassador to the U.S., is "ideally-placed to undertake this important review, having an extensive career in the Australian public service, particularly in the national security, defense and foreign affairs environment."
"The national security environment is constantly changing and it is essential that we ensure our agencies have the tools and framework they need to be effective and meet their core function, keeping Australians safe," it read.
In addition to intelligence agencies, the review will consider the legislative frameworks for the intelligence functions of the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Federal Police, Australian Transactional Report Analysis Center and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
The review was a key recommendation of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review conducted by Australian academic and former public servant Michael L'Estrange and former senior advisor to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs Stephen Merchant.
L'Estrange identified inconsistencies in laws underpinning the national security agencies such as different thresholds for obtaining interception warrants for ASIO, other national security agencies and the police.
His probe called for "a simplified" legislative framework, recommending it "should provide certainty about what activities agencies can undertake, the relevant thresholds to be met and the oversight mechanisms to which they are subject."
"In other words, the legislative framework should be easily understood and accessible, and clearly state the activities that are permitted under its provisions." -- NNN-XINHUA
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK