1. Introduction

Referral of the Bill

The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (High Risk Terrorist Offenders) Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives by the Hon Christian Porter MP, Attorney-General of Australia on 3 September 2020.
In his second reading speech, the Attorney-General said:
The bill seeks to broaden the range of tools available to address the risk posed by convicted terrorist offenders. The threshold for a Supreme Court to order continuing detention is high, commensurate with the severity of continuing detention. Extended supervision orders will allow supreme courts to impose tailored supervisory conditions specific to the risk posed by the terrorist offender if released into the community, where the court is not satisfied that continuing detention is appropriate to prevent that risk. While control orders are available, they can only be made by federal courts and provide for a smaller range of possible conditions.1

Conduct of the inquiry

The Committee announced its inquiry on 1 October 2020 and invited submissions from interested members of the public by 29 October 2020.
The Committee received 6 submissions and 8 supplementary submissions. A list of submissions received can be found at Appendix A.
The Committee held a public hearing on 13 November 2020. A list of witnesses appearing at the hearing can be found at Appendix B.
Copies of submissions, the transcript from the public hearing and links to the Bill and Explanatory Memorandum can be accessed at the Committee’s website.2

Report structure

This report comprises four chapters:
The remainder of Chapter 1 discusses the concurrent statutory review into the terrorism powers of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Chapter 2 discusses the current threat landscape and provides an overview of the previous consideration of post sentence orders by the Committee, the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and the Council of Australian Governments;
Chapter 3 discusses the provisions of the Bill, including the judicial authorisation process and operation of the scheme, and considers the evidence received from submitters.
Chapter 4 discusses amendments proposed to the continuing detention order scheme and the control order scheme contained in the Bill.

Committee review of Australian Federal Police powers in relation to terrorism

At the time of this inquiry the Committee considered statutory provisions relating to Australian Federal Police (AFP) powers to combat the threat of terrorism which included:
the stop, search and seizure powers provided for under Division 3A of Part IAA of the Crimes Act 1914
the control order (CO) regime provided for under Division 104 of the Criminal Code Act 1995
the preventative detention order (PDO) regime provided for under Division 105 of the Criminal Code Act 1995, and
the continuing detention order regime (CDO) provided for under Division 105A of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
A number of the powers and processes contained in these sections of the Criminal Code Act 1995 form part of the proposal to introduce an extended supervision order scheme. This report refers to this concurrent review throughout as Review of police powers in relation to terrorism, the control order regime, the preventative detention order regime, and the continuing detention order regime.
Likewise, due to the direct impact on control orders and continuing detention orders in the introduction of a extended supervision orders scheme, references to the Counter Terrorism Legislation Amendment (High Risk Terrorist Offenders) Bill 2020 are contained in the Committee’s review of AFP powers.

  • 1
    The Hon Christian Porter MP, Attorney-General of Australia, House of Representatives Hansard, 3 September 2020, p. 6477.
  • 2

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