Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator the Honourable Christopher Martin Ellison, MP)
Outline and financial impact
Schedule 4 to the Border Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2002 (the Bill), as introduced into the House of Representatives, amends the Customs Act 1901 to require goods that are in transit through Australia to be reported to Customs, to allow in transit goods to be examined, and to allow certain in transit goods to be seized.
In particular, item 20 of Schedule 4 to the Bill provides that a judicial officer may issue a warrant to seize goods that are in transit through Australia, if the officer is satisfied by information on oath that the Minister has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the goods are connected, whether directly or indirectly, with the carrying out of a terrorist act , whether the terrorist act has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur.
Items 14 and 15 of Schedule 4 to the Bill insert a definition of terrorist act into Division 1 of Part XII of the Customs Act. That definition is the same as that contained in other bills in the counter terrorism package of bills.
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee (the Committee) in its report on those bills recommended that the definition of terrorist act be amended to include a third element, namely that the action or threat of action is designed to influence government by undue intimidation or undue coercion, or to unduly intimidate the public or a section of the public.
The purpose of the amendments is to tighten the definition of terrorist act in response to Recommendation 2 of the Committee. The amendments also limit the inclusion of actions involving serious harm to a person in the definition of terrorist act to actions involving serious physical harm and clarify that the definition of terrorist act includes causing death.
The amendments have no financial impact.