Continuation of the Office of the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments

11 December 2014

Today I am announcing that the Hon Margaret Stone will continue in the role of the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments for a further two-year term.

Ms Stone has served in this role since December 2012. She has performed a valuable function in conducting independent reviews of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) adverse security assessments of people who have been found to be owed protection under international law but are being held in immigration detention in Australia because of an adverse security assessment.

The Government thanks Ms Stone for her willingness to continue in this role, which provides a valuable advisory review mechanism. This is an important safeguard in addition to internal reviews of these cases conducted by ASIO.

To date, the majority of reviews of the Independent Reviewer have confirmed ASIO’s initial assessment, highlighting the integrity of the assessment and internal review process. This is a testament to the confidence that successive Governments have rightly placed in the professional judgment of ASIO. In the small number of cases where the Independent Reviewer has recommended a different outcome to the initial assessment, mainly where additional information had come to hand, ASIO agreed with the recommendation and, in several cases, had already reached the same conclusion on the basis of its internal review.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, said “the reviewer has played a helpful and important role in addressing these cases and I look forward to that continuing as the Government processes the legacy caseload of 30,000 people Labor left behind as a result of their border failure and failure to act on processing.”

The Government looks forward to continuing to work with the Independent Reviewer.

Further information about the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments, including terms of reference is available at: http://www.ag.gov.au/NationalSecurity/Counterterrorismlaw/Pages/IndependentReviewofAdverseSecurityAssessments.aspx