Chapter 1 - Introduction
1.1 On 11 May 2005, the Senate referred the Crimes
Legislation Amendment (Telecommunications Interception and Other Measures) Bill
2005 (the Bill) to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee
for inquiry and report by 14 June 2005. On 14 June 2005, the Senate agreed to
extend the reporting date to 17 June 2005.
The Bill seeks to
amend the Criminal Code Act 1995
(the Criminal Code) to extend the defences to certain offences under Part 10.6
of the Criminal Code to all agencies who may exercise powers under the Telecommunications
(Interception) Act 1979 (the TI Act). The Bill also seeks to amend the TI Act to:
the interception (without a warrant) of communications to and from certain
declared emergency services facilities;
the interception (without a warrant) by authorised radiocommunications
inspectors who are fulfilling their statutory obligations under the Radiocommunications
telecommunications interception warrants to be obtained in connection with the
investigation of the ancillary office of accessory after the fact for a 'class
1' offence under the TI Act;
the recommendations dealing with statistical information for named-person
warrants, reports by the Commonwealth Ombudsman and civil forfeiture regimes
contained in the Report of the Review of Named Person Warrants and Other
Matters, completed by Mr
Tom Sherman AO in 2003 (the Sherman Report); and
the meaning of the term 'an employee of a carrier'.
Conduct of the inquiry
1.3 The committee advertised the inquiry in The Australian newspaper on 18 and 25 May
2005, and invited submissions by 27 May 2005. Details of the inquiry, the Bill
and associated documents were placed on the committee’s website. The committee
also wrote to 60 organisations and individuals, including police, fire and
ambulance services in each state and territory.
1.4 The committee received 10 submissions which are
listed at Appendix 1. Submissions were placed on the committee’s website for
ease of access by the public. The committee held a public hearing in Canberra
on 15 June 2005.
the short timeframe between the public hearing and the reporting date, the committee
has not had the opportunity to consider fully the issues raised at the public
hearing. The committee's report therefore relies on the evidence provided in submissions.
However, the committee also presents the proof Hansard transcript of the public
hearing at Appendix 2 of the report to assist the Senate in its consideration
of the Bill.
1.6 The committee thanks those organisations and
individuals who made submissions and gave evidence at the public hearing.
Note on references
1.7 References in this report are to individual
submissions as received by the committee, not to a bound volume. References to
the committee Hansard are to the proof Hansard: page numbers may vary between
the proof and the official Hansard transcript.
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