Parliamentary privilege and the use of intrusive powers

That the following matters be referred to the Standing Committee of Privileges for inquiry and report by 14 August 2017:

  1. whether protocols for the execution of search warrants in the premises of members of Parliament, or where parliamentary privilege may be raised, sufficiently protect the capacity of members to carry out their functions without improper interference;
  2. the implications of the use of intrusive powers by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including telecommunications interception, electronic surveillance and metadata domestic preservation notices, on the privileges and immunities of members of Parliament;
  3. whether current oversight and reporting regimes on the use of intrusive powers are adequate to protect the capacity of members of Parliament to carry out their functions, including whether the requirements of parliamentary privilege are sufficiently acknowledged;
  4. whether specific protocols should be developed on any or all of the following:
    1. access by law enforcement or intelligence agencies to information held by parliamentary departments, departments of state (or portfolio agencies) or private agencies in relation to members of Parliament or their staff,
    2. access in accordance with the provisions of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 by law enforcement or intelligence agencies to metadata or other electronic material in relation to members of Parliament or their staff, held by carriers or carriage service providers, and
    3. activities of intelligence agencies in relation to members of Parliament or their staff (with reference to the agreement between the Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service); and
  5. any related matters, including competing public interest considerations.

Background paper

  • This background paper provides some basic guidance on the scope of the inquiry.

The closing date for submissions is 13 April 2017.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committee of Privileges
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 62773360
Fax: +61 2 62773199
priv.sen@aph.gov.au