Vol. 38 No. 1 (2019): The University of Queensland Law Journal

Australia's New Espionage Laws: Another Case of Hyper-legislation and Over-criminalisation

Published 2019-10-24


Australia introduced its first espionage offence in 1914. This was repealed in 2002 and replaced with four new offences. Just 16 years later, these offences have again been the subject of legislative change; in June 2018, they were repealed and replaced with 27 new offences. The broad nature of conduct criminalised by some of the offences raises concerns over criminalisation of conduct that may have an innocent explanation. Discussion of these issues may provide useful insights for movements toward law reform in the United Kingdom and other Five Eyes nations.