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TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION AND ACCESS) ACT 1979 - SECT 180M

Issuing a journalist information warrant in an emergency

             (1)  The Director-General of Security may issue a journalist information warrant in relation to a particular person if:

                     (a)  a request under section 180J has been made for the issue of a journalist information warrant in relation to the particular person; and

                     (b)  the Attorney-General has not, to the knowledge of the Director-General, made a decision under section 180L in relation to the request; and

                     (c)  within the preceding period of 3 months:

                              (i)  the Attorney-General has not refused to issue a journalist information warrant in relation to the particular person; and

                             (ii)  the Director-General has not issued such a journalist information warrant; and

                     (d)  the Director-General is satisfied that, security will be, or is likely to be, seriously prejudiced if the access to which the request relates does not begin before a journalist information warrant can be issued and made available by the Attorney-General; and

                     (e)  either:

                              (i)  the issuing of the warrant is authorised under subsection (3); or

                             (ii)  the Director-General is satisfied that none of the Ministers specified in subsection (4) is readily available or contactable.

             (2)  The Director-General must not issue a journalist information warrant unless the Director-General is satisfied as to the matters set out in paragraphs 180L(2)(a) and (b).

Authorisation to issue a warrant under this section

             (3)  A Minister specified in subsection (4) may, if he or she is satisfied as to the matters set out in paragraphs 180L(2)(a) and (b), orally give an authorisation under this subsection for the Director-General to issue the warrant under this section.

             (4)  The Ministers who may orally give an authorisation are:

                     (a)  the Attorney-General; or

                     (b)  if the Director-General is satisfied that the Attorney-General is not readily available or contactable--any of the following Ministers:

                              (i)  the Prime Minister;

                            (ia)  the most senior Minister administering this Act;

                             (ii)  the Defence Minister;

                            (iii)  the Foreign Affairs Minister.

             (5)  The authorisation may specify conditions or restrictions relating to issuing the warrant.

             (6)  The Director-General must ensure that a written record of an authorisation given under subsection (3) is made as soon as practicable (but no later than 48 hours) after the authorisation is given.

Duration of a warrant under this section

             (7)  A journalist information warrant under this section must specify the period (not exceeding 48 hours) for which it is to remain in force. The Attorney-General may revoke the warrant at any time before the end of the specified period.

Copies of warrant and other documents

             (8)  Immediately after issuing a journalist information warrant under this section, the Director-General must give the Attorney-General:

                     (a)  a copy of the warrant; and

                     (b)  a statement of the grounds on which the warrant was issued; and

                     (c)  either:

                              (i)  a copy of the record made under subsection (6); or

                             (ii)  if the Director-General was satisfied as mentioned in subparagraph (1)(e)(ii)--a summary of the facts of the case justifying issuing the warrant.

             (9)  Within 3 business days after issuing a journalist information warrant under this section, the Director-General must give the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security:

                     (a)  a copy of the warrant; and

                     (b)  either:

                              (i)  a copy of the record made under subsection (6); or

                             (ii)  if the Director-General was satisfied as mentioned in subparagraph (1)(e)(ii)--a summary of the facts of the case justifying issuing the warrant.

           (10)  Subsection (9) has effect despite subsection 185D(1).



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