PJCIS to review new declared areas bill

Parliament of Australia

At the request of the Attorney-General, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced a review of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Declared Areas) Bill 2024.

The amendments in the Bill would ensure the continuation of the declared areas offence in section 119.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. The offence, which is due to sunset on 7 September 2024, is an element of the Australian Government’s efforts to stop Australians becoming foreign fighters.

The Bill would extend the offence for another three years, to 7 September 2027, and would also provide that section 119.3—the provision under which the Minister for Foreign Affairs can declare an area for the purpose of the offence in section 119.2—also ceases to have effect on 7 September 2027.

Mr Peter Khalil MP, Chair of the PJCIS, said: “The Committee welcomes the referral of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Declared Areas) Bill 2024. We look forward to receiving submissions from interested parties on the ongoing utility of the declared areas offences, which have been an important part of the Australian Government’s counter-terrorism efforts.

“Since the introduction of these offences, periodic review by this Committee has ensured they are subject to ongoing parliamentary scrutiny and that the requirements of national security are constantly balanced against the rights of the individual”, continued Mr Khalil.

Submissions to the inquiry are invited by 29 April 2024.

/Public Release.