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Silk picked to monitor national security laws

Silk picked to monitor national security laws

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Dr James Renwick SC has been appointed as Independent National Security Legislation Monitor after several months acting in the role.

This week the Governor General appointed the silk to his new role. Dr Renwick has been acting as Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) since February. He also previously sat on the Law Council of Australia’s (LCA) Military Justice Committee as a member for three years.

In his new role, Dr Renwick will assess any proposals to change national security legislation and ensure that the laws remain necessary and proportionate to the threats faced. 

LCA president Fiona McLeod SC welcomed the appointment and said that to date Dr Renwick’s office had engaged in robust consultations as part of INSLM review of stop, search and seizure powers, declared areas, control orders and preventive detention orders.

As governments move to alter and strengthen security and counter-terrorism legislation, it is critical that the INSLM is able to assess whether new measures accord with the rule of law and Australia’s human rights obligations,” Ms McLeod said.

“Dr Renwick has a strong professional background in national security issues and is well respected among the legal profession. The Law Council looks forward to continuing to work with Dr Renwick,” she said.

The LCA used the opportunity to also call on the government to publicly release a declassified report written by the INSLM as soon as possible.

Ms McLeod said that the report would help inform the current statutory reviews by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

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