List of recommendations

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that sections 119.2 and 119.3 of the Criminal Code, which establish the ‘declared area’ provisions, be continued for a further period of three years.
The Committee also recommends that the Intelligence Services Act 2001 be amended to require the Committee to commence a further review into the operation, effectiveness and implications of the provisions prior to the sunset date.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that section 119.2(3) of the Criminal Code be amended to make clear that humanitarian work beyond direct aid, including compliance training on the laws of armed conflict, is considered to be a ‘legitimate purpose’ for entering, or remaining in, a declared area.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the key non-legislative factors that are considered by ASIO to guide and prioritise the selection of areas in foreign countries for consideration be specifically addressed in the unclassified Statement of Reasons that is provided to the Minister and made publicly available in relation to each declared area. These factors include:
links to Australia and Australians,
threats to Australian interests including the role of a particular area in the radicalisation of Australians and likely repercussions in Australia,
the enduring nature of the listed terrorist organisation’s hostile activity in the area,
the operational benefit of declaring the area,
factors relevant to Australia’s international relations, including bilateral relations with countries including those in which an area may be declared, and engagement with international organisations such as the United Nations,
the listed terrorist organisation’s ideology,
links to other terrorist groups, and
engagement in peace or mediation processes.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that section 119.3 of the Criminal Code be amended to provide that the Minister for Foreign Affairs may revoke a declaration at any time. This should include circumstances where the legislative test for the declaration continues to be met, but where changes in non-legislative factors suggest that the declaration is no longer necessary or desirable, taking into account security advice from relevant agencies.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that the Government implement the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor’s recommendation to empower the Committee to review and report back to the Parliament on any declaration made under section 119.3 of the Criminal Code at its discretion ‘at any time prior to the declaration ceasing to have effect or being revoked by the Minister’.

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