Committee agrees to an international production orders regime

House of Representatives

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security tabled its report on Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020 today.

The Committee recommended that, following the implementation of the recommendations in its report, the IPO Bill 2020 be passed by Parliament.

The Chair, Senator James Paterson, said “An international production orders scheme will provide Australia’s law enforcement agencies and ASIO with much faster access to evidence during the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes, a vital power in an increasingly digital world where much evidence is located offshore.”

“The Committee’s recommendations seek to provide necessary assurances that any international agreement that Australia enters into under the provisions in the Bill are necessary, proportionate and subject to appropriate oversight.” Senator Paterson said.

The Committee recommended that the Bill contain a list of conditions governing designated international agreements, including on the non-use of the death penalty on Australian-sourced information, as well as the conditions a foreign country must meet prior to Australia negotiating a designated international agreement.

In addition, the Committee recommended that the authority to apply for an international production order be confined to senior officers in the relevant law enforcement agencies and ASIO. The Committee also made a number of recommendations to enhance oversight of the powers.

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