Federal Parliament - Law Enforcement Committee - report

05 August 2021

Dr ALYby leave—I want to add my comments to those of the chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement, as the deputy chair, just to reiterate some of the points made by the chair. The report on the SOSI Act, the Australian Crime Commission Amendment (Special Operations and Special Investigations) Act, is actually quite an important report. As the committee heard from the witnesses that appeared before us, this legislation, which was introduced for special ops and special investigations, gives the ACIC certain powers of determination. It is the only legislation that does not come under the auspices of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and it has a quite unique oversight mechanism. As the chair mentioned, that oversight mechanism is with the specially appointed board of the ACIC that makes determinations about special operations and special investigations. The other form of oversight and part of that mechanism is of course the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement, of which I am the deputy chair and the member for Ryan is the chair. Some of the witnesses argued that there should be more oversight or a different oversight mechanism. But the law enforcement witnesses who appeared assured the committee that more oversight would not result in fewer cases being challenged by the High Court by those who have been charged with serious crimes and who want to continue their criminal enterprise.

In closing on this, I would like to reiterate the important function of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement in its oversight of this act under section 7 of the SOSI act, and that function of oversight should continue. I would like to thank Dr Sean Turner and the secretariat, the chair and other members of the committee. I commend this report to the House.