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Law Council launches National Security Committee

The Law Council of Australia has established a National Security Committee to guide its advocacy on the operation of Australia’s laws, policies and practices as the domestic and global security environment evolves.

“For the entirety of our 88 years of operation, the Law Council has always sought to improve the quality of the laws passed in this vital arena, through balancing the upholding of our national security, with, the preservation of the fundamental liberties which underpin our civil society,” Law Council of Australia President Dr Jacoba Brasch QC said.

“In view of the importance of national security, the complexity of the issues that face us as a nation, and the legislative changes contemplated to address these challenges, the time is right to inaugurate a dedicated team of experts to provide insight and input.”

Over the next three years in particular, the Government will implement its response to the 203 recommendations of Mr Dennis Richardson AC’s Review of the Legal Framework of the National Intelligence Community. This is set to include a wholesale rewriting of Commonwealth electronic and surveillance laws.

Mr Lloyd Babb SC has been appointed the Law Council National Security Committee’s inaugural chair for a term of three years. For a decade, Mr Babb served as the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions. He has an extensive and distinguished background in criminal law.

“We are incredibly grateful Lloyd has agreed to lead the Law Council’s contribution to the national debate on security and the law,” Dr Brasch said. “Under Lloyd’s foundational guidance, the National Security Committee will provide advice on the operation, effectiveness and implications of Australia’s national security laws while making sure our national security policies and laws contain appropriate safeguards for protecting the rights of individuals and are proportionate to any threat.”

The Law Council is finalising its National Security Committee membership and expects it to meet for the first time next month.

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