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
(see reg. 4 onwards).
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 (Dealing with Assets) Regulations 2008
These provide for a Consolidated
List of Entities, Persons and Assets with which financial dealings
are restricted (freezing of assets etc) made under Regulation 40.
of Legislative and Other Legal Developments from 11 September
2001 to December 2007 (including a list of Federal legislation
relating to terrorism as at 11 September 2001).
This chronology details legislative and other legal developments at the
federal level since 11 September 2001 until the change of Government in
late 2007. Notable events are in red.
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". This
is updated annually (see Budgets
> [Date of budget] > Portfolio Budget Information Kit > Fact
or Information Sheets. See also regular
reports submitted by the Government to the United Nations on terrorism
introduced during 2007
Second control order under terrorism legislation
made [on David Hicks] (Jabbour
v Hicks  FMCA 2139) interim order; 
FMCA 178 interim order confirmed). See also Anti-terrorism
control orders in Australia and the United Kingdom: a comparison
Legislation Amendment (Crime or Terrorism Related Internet Content) Bill
Amends the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to expand the ‘black list’
of internet addresses maintained by the Australian Communications and
Media Authority to include terrorism and cyber crime websites hosted domestically
and overseas. The Bill lapsed at the November election
High Court upholds the constitutional validity of
control orders made under terrorism legislation (Thomas
v Mowbray  HCA 33)
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. (Minister
for Immigration & Citizenship v Haneef  FCAFC 203 (21 December
(Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Terrorist Material)
Bill 2007 (Act
no. 179, 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 (Act
no. 131, 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 (Act
no. 177, 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
Transport Security Amendment (Additional Screening Measures) Bill 2007
no. 30, 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.
introduced during 2006
Legislation Amendment Bill 2006 (Act
no. 50, 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.
Bill lapsed with 2007 election.
Enables more effective investigation of terrorism offences and multi-jurisdictional
and organised crime.
Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill 2006 (Act
no. 169, 2006) + Anti-Money
Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (Transitional Provisions and
Consequential Amendments) Bill 2006 (Act
no. 170, 2006) 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).
and Justice Legislation Amendment (Marking of Plastic Explosives) Bill
no 3, 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.
24 people 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
no. 5, 2007) introduced. Senate
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
(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.
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.
Bill (No. 2) 2005 (Act
no. 144, 2005) introduced. Senate
Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee report. Draft of bill
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
Bill 2005 (Act
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
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 authorisation.
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
Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Amendment (Maritime Security
Guards and Other Measures) Bill 2005 (Act
no. 103, 2006) introduced. Bills
Digest. 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
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 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
Security Information (Criminal Proceeding) Amendment (Application) Bill
no. 27, 2005) introduced. Amends the National Security Information
(Criminal Proceedings) Act 2004 to clarify the application of the
Act to certain federal criminal proceedings.
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
17th November). 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. Committee
report. 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. 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 reintroduced (see March 24). Lapsed.
Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no. 152, 2004. 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.
Bill (No. 2) 2004 (Act no. 124, 2004) introduced. Committee
report. 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.
Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Bill 2004 introduced.
Lapsed. Reintroduced 17/11/04. Act no. 150. Committee
report. 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.
151. 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. Committee
report. 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. Committee
report. 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. Reintroduced 24 /6/04 (as
Bill No. 2) and again on 17/11/04. Act no. 152. Committee
report. 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.
report. 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 provision.
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. Committee
report . 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
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 (Act
no. 7, 2004) and
Criminal Code Amendment (Hizballah) Bill 2003 (Act no. 44, 2003)
introduced to ban the Hezbollah terrorist organisation and to allow the
government to ban terrorist organisations without reference to the
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. Bills
Digest -- Committee
report. 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]  (Act no. 77, 2003) reintroduced after being
withdrawn on 13 December 2002.
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
introduced during 2002
Code Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2002 (Act no 40, 2003) introduced.
Digest. Re-enacts 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.
Charter of the United Nations Amendment Bill 2002 (Act no. 124,
2002) introduced to allow holders of terrorist assets, as well as owners,
to apply for permission to deal with freezable assets.
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) Bill 2002 (Act no.
106, 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
Criminal Code Amendment (Terrorist Organisations) Bill 2002 (Act
no. 89, 2002) introduced and passed the same day to enable outlawed terrorist
organisation regulations to take immediate effect
Amendment Bill 2002 (Act no. 88, 2002) introduced to allow Crimtrac,
the national DNA database, to be used to identify Bali victims
Government outlaws the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation (Criminal
Code Amendment Regulations 2002 (No. 2) [Statutory Rule no. 249
Bali terrorist bombings
kill Australians and other nationals. Government
orders review of current terrorist legislation (Press
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 Multi-jurisdictional
Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act
2002 introduced. 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 (Reports 18/6/2002,
and the Joint
Parliamentary Committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD. In addition, the Senate
Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills report
highlights concerns with human rights issues. Because of adverse
committee comments, the bill was withdrawn on 13 December 2002 and reintroduced
with amendments on 20 March 2003 becoming act no. 77 of 2003
The government's main package of anti-terrorism legislation introduced:
Explanatory memorandum, the Attorney-General's 2nd reading speech, Parliamentary
debates and bills digest for each bill are linked to the names of the
bills above. The bills were referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional
Legislation Committee, which reported
in May 2002
Code Amendment (Anti-Hoax and Other Measures) Bill 2002 (Act
no. 9, 2002) introduced into Parliament. The first of the Goverment's
package of anti-terrorism 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
September 2001. News
release of the Attorney-General and Minister for Foreign Affairs containing
Charter of the United Nations (Anti-terrorism - Persons and Entities)
List 2001 and 2001 (No.2). For additions and amendments, see the Dept
of Foreign Affairs and Trade International Coalition
Against Terrorism page
Cabinet approves more anti-terrorism measures as a result of the internal
review established on 26 September (Attorney-General's
Prime Minister says that the Government will discuss with the States a
proposal for a new Commonwealth constitutional power to fight terrorism
Minister's news release)
Australia signs the 1999 United
Nations International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing
of Terrorism (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
Rule 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 Rule no 298/2001) made. Further implements the Security
Council Resolution 1333, made on 19 December 2000, by, among other matters,
imposing a freeze on the assets of Usama bin Laden and his associates
Reserve Bank of Australia gazettes a Variation of Authority under Regulation
39 of the Banking
(Foreign Exchange) Regulations 1959 prohibiting foreign currency transactions
with various terrorist organisations (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette,
no. S 416, 5 October 2001) (Reserve
Bank media release). Amended on 17th October (Gazette, no. S439) (Reserve
Bank media release). Further amended on 9th November (Gazette, no.
S462 of 2001) (Reserve
Bank media release) and on 22 May 2002 (Gazette, no. GN 20). Government
revokes Variations in September 2002 as they were superseded 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)
relating to terrorism as at 11 September 2001
Of all the Australian jurisdictions, only the Northern Territory had
a specific terrorism criminal offence in 2001. Federal legislation which
could be used against terrorists is listed below and includes offences
such as aircraft hijacking, murder, bombing as well as criminal investigation
legislation. Some legislation had been passed in order to implement international
treaties on terrorism.
- Air Navigation Act 1991. Part 3 Aviation security. Implements:
Convention on International Civil Aviation; International Air Services
- Air Navigation Regulations 1947. Part 7 Aviation security
- Australian Federal Police Act 1979
- Australian Protective Service Act 1987
- Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1988
- Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979
- Banking (Foreign Exchange) Regulations 1946. Regulations 8(1)(a),
- Charter of the United Nations (Sanctions - Afghanistan) Regulations
- Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act 1994. Implements: Convention
on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use
of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction
- Crimes Act 1914
- Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991. Implements: 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)
- Crimes (Biological Weapons) Act 1976. Implements: Convention on
the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological
(Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction
- Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) 1978
- Crimes (Hostages) Act 1989. Implements: International Convention
Against The Taking Of Hostages
- Crimes (Internationally Protected Persons) Act 1976. Implements:
Convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against internationally
protected persons, including diplomatic agents
- Crimes (Ships and Fixed Platforms) Bill 1992. Implements: Convention
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.
- Criminal Code Act 1995. Sections 70, 89-89A, Parts II, IIA, VII
- Customs Act 1901. Section 50
- Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956. Regulation 4A Importation
of objectionable goods
- Defence Act 1903. Part III Division 1 Calling out and directing utilisation
of Defence Force
- Defence (Special Undertakings) Act 1952
- Intelligence Services Act 2001
- Migration Act 1958. Section 501 Refusal or cancellation of visa on
- Migration Regulations 1994. Schedule 2 (786.224) Provisions with respect
to the grant of Subclasses of visas
- National Crime Authority Act 1984
- National Road Transport Commission Act 1991. Section 41B National
security and special circumstances exemptions — Australian Defence
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987. Implements: Nuclear
- Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1984. Section 140B Emergency periods
- Proceeds of Crimes Act 1987
- Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971
- Telecommunications Act 1997. Part 16 Defence requirements and disaster
- Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979
- Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995.
Further implements: Biological Weapons Convention, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention
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. Retrial of original charges ordered
by the Vic Court of Appeal 
VSCA 107. Found
guilty (23/10/08) of possessing a false passport but not of receiving
funds from al-Qaeda
||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
dismissed 20/12/07. Further appeal to the High Court refused 13/6/08
||Charged with inciting terrorism by producing a book on how to wage
a jihad. Found guilty by NSW Supreme Court jury in September 2008.
to12 years imprisonment.
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.
Charge dropped 12/11/07 after trial
judge criticises conduct of ASIO officers 5/11/07. IGIS
||Abdul Nacer Benbrika
||Arrested along with 21 others (11 in Victoria & 9 in NSW). Charged
with being a leader of a terrorist cell. Trial before Victorian Supreme
Court February-September 2008. Some related decisions on AustLII eg
VSC 261. Found
guilty by a jury 15 Sept 2008. Judge's
sentencing remarks. Of the 9 arrested in Sydney 4 pleaded guilty
to lesser charges, while 5 were found guilty of conspiracy & sentenced
to a maximum of 23 to 28 years imprisonment on 15/2/10
||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 (Aruran Vinayagamoorthy and Sivarajah Yathavan)
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. Trial due 1 February
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
Law publishers have generally ignored terrorism law, hence the need
for this research guide. Description and analysis of this topic first
appeared in conference papers and law review articles, some of which are
listed below. A very small number of books have been published more recently.
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
In 2009 Thomson Reuters published a chapter
on federal terrorism law in volume 3 of its looseleaf service Federal
Offences, by Odgers, Nash and Bagaric.This chapter is available to
users of the Parliament House computer network.
Perspectives on the ‘War on Terror’, editors
Miriam Gani and Penelope Mathew, ANU E Press.
Contents: 1. Letters from the Front (Miriam Gani and Penelope Mathew)
-- 2. Islam and the Politics of Terrorism: Aspects of the British Experience
(John Strawson) -- 3 .Another Modest Proposal: In Defence of the Prohibition
against Torture (Desmond Manderson) -- 4. Protecting Constitutionalism
in Treacherous Times: Why ‘Rights’ Don’t Matter (W Wesley
Pue) -- 5. Balancing Security and Liberty: Critical Perspectives on Terrorism
Law Reform (Simon Bronitt) -- 6. Lay Perceptions of Terrorist Acts and
Counter-Terrorism Responses: Role of Motive, Offence Construal, Siege
Mentality and Human Rights (Mark Nolan) -- 7. The Proportionality Principle
in the Context of Anti-Terrorism Laws: An Inquiry into the Boundaries
between Human Rights Law and Public Policy (Christopher Michaelsen) --
8. More Law or Less Law? The Resilience of Human Rights Law and Institutions
in the ‘War on Terror’ (Andrew Byrnes) -- 9. Black Holes,
White Holes and Worm Holes: Pre-emptive Detention in the ‘War on
Terror’ (Penelope Mathew) -- 10. Forgiving Terrorism: Trading Justice
for Peace, or Imperiling the Peace? (Ben Saul) -- 11. The European Union
as a Collective Actor in the Fight against Post-9/11 Terrorism: Progress
and Problems of a Primarily Cooperative Approach (Jörg Monar) --
12. The European Union, Counter-Terrorism Sanctions against Individuals
and Human Rights Protection (Gabriele Porretto) -- 13. How Does it End?
Reflections on Completed Prosecutions under Australia’s Anti-Terrorism
Legislation (Miriam Gani) -- 14. Executive Proscription of Terrorist Organisations
in Australia: Exploring the Shifting Border between Crime and Politics
(Russell Hogg) -- 15. Strapped to the Mast: The Siren Song of Dreadful
Necessity, the United Kingdom Human Rights Act and the Terrorist Threat
(Colm O’Cinneide) -- 16. The ACT Human Rights Act 2004 and the Commonwealth
Anti-Terrorism Act (No 2) 2005: A Triumph for Federalism or a Federal
Triumph? (Andrew Byrnes and Gabrielle McKinnon)
2007 Law and Liberty in the War on Terror,
editors Andrew Lynch, Edwina MacDonald, George Williams. Federation Press.
Contents: Law as a preventative weapon against terrorism (Philip Ruddock)
-- Legality and emergency: the judiciary in a time of terror (David Dyzenhaus,
Raymond Thwaites) -- The Curious element of motive in definitions of terrorism:
essential ingredient or criminalising thought? (Ben Saul) -- The Case
for redefining terrorism with restraint and without reference to political
or religious motive (Kent Roach) -- The Effectiveness of criminal laws
on terrorism (Robert Cornall) -- Preparation for terrorism: catastrophic
risk and precautionary criminal law (Andrew Goldsmith) -- Australia's
terrorism offences: a case against (Patrick Emerton) -- Reconciling security
and the right to a fair trial: the National Security Information Act in
practice (Stephen Donaghue) --Preserving national security in the courtroom:
a new battleground (Phillip Boulton) -- Control orders and preventative
detention: why alarm is misguided (Geoff MacDonald) -- A Judicial perspective:
the making of preventative detention orders (Margaret White) -- The Constitutional
validity of prevention detention (James Renwick) -- When are restrictions
on speech justified in the war on terror? (Katherine Gelber) -- Torture,
the fallacy of the ticking bomb (Sarah Joseph) -- Torture, what is it,
will it work and can it be justified? (Neil James) --Counter-terrrorism
laws in New Zealand (Alex Conte) -- The United Kingdom's anti-terrorism
laws: lessons for Australia (Clive Walker) -- Muslim communities: their
voice in Australia's terrorism laws and policies (Waleed Aly) -- News
media responsibilities in reporting on terrorism (Tanja Dreher) -- Achieving
security, respecting rights and maintaining the rule of law (Andrew Lynch)
Price Security? Taking Stock of Australia's Anti-terror Laws
/ Andrew Lynch & George Williams. University of New South Wales Press.
Contents: Crimes of terror -- Monitoring, questioning and detaining: ASIO's
new powers -- Pre-emptive policy: preventative detention and control orders
-- Shades of grey: freedom of speech -- Prosecuting terrorists -- What
This book is available online only to users of the Parliament House computer
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)
- 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
Australian domestic law by legislation. Unless indicated, the text of
each treaty may be found as a schedule to its implementing act. See also
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:
Anti-terrorism Act 2001, chapter 41. [ Analysis
of the Bill (Intranet copy) and Background
on the Bill (from LEGISinfo - Canadian Parliamentary Library)] and
the Public Safety Act
2004, chapter 15 [Background
on the Bill (from LEGISinfo].
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)
Security and Human Rights Concerns in Canada: a Survey of Eight Critical
Issues in the Post-9/11 Environment (Wesley K. Wark, 2006)
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 anti-terrorist and associated legislation in Canada
- List of banned
terrorist organisations in Canada (Public Safety Canada)
The main act is the Terrorism
Suppression Act 2002 (formerly Terrorism (Bombings and Financing)
Suppression Bill 2002). Commentaries on the law include:
The main UK legislation is, unfortunately, spread over several acts,
none of which appears to be published in an up to date form on the internet.
They are the Terrorism Act 2000, Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act
2001, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, Terrorism Act 2006 and the Counter-Terrorism
Act 2008. Copies of these acts may be found on the UK
Statute Law Database, which has an updating facility for some acts.
More information may be found on the Home
Office website which includes texts of legislation, reviews on the
operation of the legislation, as well as the List
of banned terrorist organisations in the UK. See also Halsbury's
Laws of England > Criminal Law Evidence & Procedure (vol 11) >
5. Offences against the state or security > 6. Prevention of terrorism.
The United States already had anti-terrorism legislation before 11 September
2001 and after that date passed two major acts: the USA Patriot Act
2001 (Bill no.
H.R. 3162; Public
Law no: 107-56), and the Homeland Security Act 2002 (Bill
no. H.R. 5005; Public
Law no: 107-296) which created a new Department of Homeland Security
to oversee national security matters previously the responsibility of
22 separate agencies. Current terrorism offences are reprinted mainly
in the US
Code, Title 18, Chapter 113B.
Analysis and background on legislation
Legislation and Practice: A Survey of Selected Countries (UK
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 2005)
Covers Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain,
reports to the UN Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee re
legislation etc passed to implement Council Resolution 1373 of 2001
and resolution 1624 of 2005
- 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. Includes text of the E-bulletin on counter-terrorism
& human rights and the 2009 Final Report of the Eminent
Jurists Panel survey of over 40 countries
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.
- Terrorism Law Wiki
Maintained by Matt Stevens, Australian National University. Mainly links
to terrorism law developments in English speaking countries
Against Terrorism links. Compiled in Canada this site has hundreds
of links to documents and information arranged into subject categories.
Some parts are regularly updated. Documents and Civil Liberties categories
are particularly useful.
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