New Independent National Security Legislation Monitor appointed

By Tony Zhang|19 July 2020
Attorney-General Christian Porter

Attorney-General Christian Porter has appointed a new Independent National Security Legislation Monitor who will take a key role in overseeing Australia’s national security legislation.

Grant Donaldson SC is appointed Australia’s acting Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM).

The government said they will continue to modernise and strengthen legislation to address the evolving terrorist and espionage threat at home and abroad.

“The INSLM has an important role in reviewing legislation as to whether the laws contain appropriate protections, are proportionate to terrorism or national security threats and remain necessary,” the Attorney-General said. 

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“Mr Donaldson will be appointed for an initial period of three months while preparatory arrangements for his permanent appointment are made.

Mr Donaldson is an eminent barrister with experience in commercial, private and criminal law. He brings a wealth of legal and public policy expertise to the role.

Mr Donaldson previously served as the Solicitor-General for Western Australia from 2012 to 2016, and has held senior leadership positions in the Western Australian Bar Association and the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia. 

A former Rhodes scholar, Mr Donaldson is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and has been a visiting fellow at the Law School of the University of Western Australia since 1991.

The Law Council of Australia also welcomed the appointment of Mr Donaldson and said they were looking forward to working closely with him.

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The INSLM plays a critical role in reviewing the operation, effectiveness and implications of national security and counterterrorism laws; and considers whether the laws contain appropriate protections for individual rights, remain proportionate to terrorism or national security threats, and remain necessary.

LCA President Pauline Wright said they are looking forward to working collaboratively with Mr Donaldson, by providing submissions and evidence to INSLM inquiries. 

Such submissions include the INSLM’s upcoming reviews of the Criminal Code Amendment (High Risk Terrorist Offenders) Act 2016 and the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018.

The Attorney-General congratulated Mr Donaldson on his appointment and thanked Dr James Renwick CSC SC for his valuable contribution in reviewing Australia’s national security and counterterrorism laws, over the course of his term.

New Independent National Security Legislation Monitor appointed
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