Governance and legislative arrangements

Australia-New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC)

The AFP works with representatives of the Australian and New Zealand governments and the states and territories on the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee (ANZCTC), which was established as the National Counter Terrorism Committee in 2002. Stronger relationships with New Zealand were recognised when its membership status was changed to full member in 2012 resulting in the renaming of the committee to the ANZCTC.

Australian counter terrorism laws

Effective laws are a critical component of Australia’s response to threatened or actual terrorist acts.

Australia’s laws against terrorism are in Part 5.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 with laws against foreign incursion and recruitment in Part 5.5 of said Act.

Australia's counter terrorism laws focus on:

  • terrorist act offences
  • terrorist organisations
  • preventing the financing of terrorism
  • urging violence and advocating terrorism offences
  • foreign incursions and recruitment offences.

Control orders

The control order regime allows police to more effectively monitor a person’s movements and associations to reduce the risk of future terror activity.

Under Division 104 of the Criminal Code Act 1995, control orders, which must be issued by a court, allow obligations, prohibitions and restrictions to be imposed on a person for the purpose of protecting the public from a terrorist threat, especially in circumstances where the prosecution of the person may not be possible. The obligations, prohibitions and restrictions which may be placed on a person include those relating to:

  • being at specific areas or places
  • accessing or using specific forms of technology
  • communicating or associating with specific individuals
  • remaining at specified premises between specified times each day
  • wearing a tracking device
  • reporting to specified persons at specified times and places.

Preventative Detention Orders

Under Division 105 of the Criminal Code Act 1995, the AFP may arrange to make a Preventative Detention Order which allows a person to be taken into custody and detained for a short period of time in order to either prevent an imminent terrorist act occurring or preserve evidence of, or relating to, a recent terrorist act.

Legislation enacted by each state jurisdiction across Australia also supports the making of State Preventative Detention Orders which may be used either independently of, or as a complement to, Commonwealth Preventative Detention Orders.

National Security Hotline

Visit the AFP Futures Centre

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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