Attorney-General George Brandis says he will make a special explicit prohibition regarding torture as part of the second tranche of changes to anti-terror legislation, to be introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.
“Special intelligence operations will not have the power to engage in torture,” Brandis said, pointing out “it is against Australian law.”
“I don’t want discussion of security laws diverted by something that’s a red herring,” added.
Brandis says changes to anti-terror legislation needs to occur because the current suite of laws can’t deal with the security threats Australia is now experiencing.
“The government has never and will never support torture,” new ASIO Director General Duncan Lewis added.
There are two packages of legislation relating to national security. The first tranche deals with the powers of national security and was introduced to the senate in the first week of July.
The second package of legislation deals with the threat to Australia’s security by those travelling to, for example, Syria and returning to Australia with a level of intent to commit terrorist acts.
Brandis said that the government has engaged in extensive community consultation over the past few weeks and claims he has Opposition backing for the so-called foreign fighters anti-terrorism bill which will be introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.
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