PJCIS Reviews National Security Legislation Amendment


The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced a review into the National Security Legislation Amendment (Comprehensive Review and Other Measures No. 2) Bill 2023, The bill was referred to the Committee by the Hon. Mark Dreyfus KC, MP, Attorney-General on 29 March 2023.

The Bill proposes amendments to enhance the legislative framework of the National Intelligence Community (NIC) by implementing some of the recommendations (recommendations 18, 19, 66, 136, 145, 167, 186, 188, 191 and 192) of the Comprehensive Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community (known as the Richardson Review) within the Attorney-General’s portfolio. It proposes amendments to 13 related Commonwealth Acts to support these proposed enhancements.

The Bill also proposes to amend the Intelligence Services Act 2001 (IS Act) to provide certainty regarding the level of detail required to describe the directed activities in a Ministerial direction to the Australian Secret Intelligence Service under paragraph 6(1)(e) of the IS Act. In addition, the bill proposes amendments to the IS Act on the composition and associated quorum requirements of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS)

Mr Peter Khalil MP, Chair of the PJCIS said “The Committee’s (PJCIS) review of this national security Bill is an important Parliamentary oversight of the implementation of the recommendations of the Richardson Review. The PJCIS review process adds an extra layer of assurance that these changes are not only appropriate but will not have unintended impacts.”

The Attorney-General has requested that the Committee report by the end of April 2023. Accordingly, submissions to the inquiry are invited by midday on Thursday, 6 April 2023. The Committee acknowledges the very tight timeframe requested for submissions and appreciates all efforts to support the Committee with its review.


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