Since 2003, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has had special powers relating to terrorism offences, including the power to question and detain terror suspects and non-suspects for up to seven days under a Questioning and Detention Warrant.
ASIO head Duncan Lewis recently gave evidence to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor’s review into terrorism questioning and detention powers. He said:
ASIO would support amendments to legislation to make the regime more efficient and effective for use in the current security environment.
Lewis is reported as saying it “would be most desirable in our view for there to be a streamlining of the warrant authorisation process”, in which the attorney-general would give authority for the warrants.
So what are ASIO’s powers in this area? And does it need more to be effective? We’ve compiled this interactive to explain.
Authors: Tamara Tulich, Lecturer, Law School, University of Western Australia