Terrorism Law Reform Project



Project Director: Nicola McGarrity-White

The Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales – and the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law in particular – is world renowned as a hub of academic research into both Australian and overseas anti-terrorism law and policy. This Project aims to build upon the work of the Terrorism and the Law Project (2004-2010) and the ARC Laureate Project entitled ‘Anti-Terror Laws and the Democratic Challenge’ (2009 to 2014). It capitalises upon the considerable expertise of both members of the Centre, in particular, Nicola McGarrity, Keiran Hardy, George Williams, Fergal Davis, Andrew Lynch and Sangeetha Pillai, as well as others within the Faculty of Law more generally.

The work of Centre staff in the area of anti-terrorism laws has attracted a large number of high-quality PhD candidates to the Centre and this Project welcomes those interested in pursuing higher degree research in a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment. Another strength of these previous Projects has been their crossing of the divide between academic research and public engagement. This Project has continued to make significant contributions to public and political debate through media interviews and opinion pieces as well as submissions to inquiries.

The threat of foreign fighters returning from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq demonstrates the ongoing importance of developing principled approaches to counter-terrorism law and policy. That threat led to three new tranches of national security reforms being enacted in late 2014 and early 2015. Members of the Terrorism Law Reform Project were active in responding to these new laws, particularly through submissionsand evidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS), as well as media commentary and interviews.

In March 2015 Andrew Lynch, Nicola McGarrity and George Williams published a book entitled Inside Australia's Anti-Terrorism Laws and Trials (NewSouth Books). This book examines the impact of Australia's anti-terrorism laws, including those enacted in 2014. It asks, amongst other things, whether these laws needed to be enacted in the first place and whether we need to keep adding to them so regularly. Details of the book launch and panel discussion between Nicholas Cowdery AM QC and the three authors can be found here, together with other information about the book.