Australia has long played a leading role in the development of laws to combat terrorism. The Australian Government has an extensive legislative regime around counter-terrorism, national security and other cross-jurisdictional offences.
Key pieces of Australia's national security legislation include:
The legislation which sets out the functions of the Australia Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)–—Australia’s security service. This legislation, amongst other things, empowers ASIO to obtain warrants for the purpose of undertaking surveillance and to detain and question a person who may have information important to the gathering of intelligence in relation to a terrorist activity.
The legislation establishes a number of mechanisms to safeguard against unlawful interference against aviation.
This legislation contains terrorism related offences, including offences dealing with freezable assets (section 20) and giving assets to a proscribed entity or person (section 21).
The legislation which deals with crime, the powers of the authorities to investigate it and many other related issues including sabotage, treachery, disclosure of information and other issues.
The legislation contains offences relating to aircraft, aerodromes, airports and air navigation facilities.
The legislation contains offences designed to prohibit Australian citizens and those ordinarily resident in Australia from engaging in hostile activities in a foreign state and recruiting people to engage in hostile activities in a foreign state.
The legislation contains offences relating to hostage-taking, attempted hostage-taking and participating as an accomplice in hostage-taking or attempted hostage-taking.
The legislation contains offences relating to the safety of a ship or a fixed platform.
The Criminal Code contains a range of offences for terrorism and terrorism related acts.
This Part contains offences relating to the sending of dangerous, threatening or hoax material through the post or similar services.
The provisions within Part IIIAAA allow the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to be called out to respond to an incident of domestic violence within Australia. The legislation contains a range of safeguards to ensure that the ADF would only be called out in extreme circumstances.
The legislation which establishes a scheme to safeguard against unlawful interference with maritime transport and establishes security levels.
The NSI Act gives courts a structure to follow where national security information is disclosed, or is to be disclosed, in federal criminal proceedings and civil proceedings.
The legislation that establishes procedures for officers to obtain warrants, emergency authorisations and tracking device authorisations for the installation and use of surveillance devices in relation to criminal investigations and other initiatives.
The legislation permits ASIO to intercept telecommunications under warrant for intelligence gathering purposes including in relation to threats of terrorism. It also provides authority, where a warrant is obtained for Australian law enforcement bodies to intercept telecommunications in respect of investigations into serious offences, including a range of terrorism offences.