Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)
ASIO is Australia's intelligence gathering agency. Its main role is to gather information and produce intelligence to enable it to notify the Government about activities or situations that may endanger Australia's national security.
The Law Council monitors the methods and practices that are adopted by ASIO in the performance of its functions and the use of its powers under the ASIO Act 1979. This includes ASIO's powers to question and detain suspects accused of terrorism related offences.
In recent years, ASIO has been invested with more extensive and more intrusive powers to perform its functions. The Law Council has raised concerns that these powers:
- have not been shown to be a necessary or proportionate response to the threats to national security facing Australia;
- Are excessive in their breadth and reach;
- impinge upon Australia's international human rights obligations; and
- lack inbuilt mechanisms for accountability.