Terms of Reference

On 6 March 2014, the Senate referred the following matter to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for inquiry and report:

The current investigative processes and powers of the Australian Federal Police in relation to non-criminal matters, with particular reference to:

  1. thresholds, including evidentiary thresholds, relating to the obtaining of production orders and search warrants, and in particular whether these reflect the rules applicable to civil litigation discovery rather than coercive search;
  2. procedures preparatory to seeking production orders and search warrants, including taking into account the conduct of the recipient of such orders;
  3. procedures for executing search warrants;
  4. safeguards relating to the curtailment of freedom of speech, particularly in relation to literary proceeds matters;
  5. safeguards for ensuring the protection of confidential information, including journalists’ sources, obtained under search warrants, and particularly where that information does not relate to the search warrant;
  6. the powers available to the Australian Federal Police to intercept telecommunications in circumstances where the matter being investigated does not involve criminal conduct;
  7. the priorities of the Serious and Organised Crime Division, and the circumstances under which they should appropriately be deployed in relation to non-criminal matters; and
  8. any related matters.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3560

About this inquiry

The inquiry will examine issues including: the required thresholds for making production orders and search warrants; procedures for seeking and executing search warrants; safeguards in relation to freedom of speech and the protection of confidential information; telecommunications interception powers available to the Australian Federal Police; and the deployment of the Serious and Organised Crime Division in relation to non-criminal matters.

Past Public Hearings

07 Apr 2014: Canberra


Inquiry Status

Report tabled

How to make a submission

The committee invites individuals and organisations to send in their opinions and proposals in writing (submissions)


If you require any special arrangements to enable you to participate in the Committee's inquiry, please contact the Committee Secretariat.

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