A poll conducted by the Australian National University in 2016 on Attitudes to National Security revealed that 56 percent of Australians believe that the government ‘could do more’ to prevent a terrorist attack. Ten years earlier, that figure was only 39 percent. The strong message that the most recent poll sends to Australian governments is that there is a mandate to strengthen national security laws in the face of the threat posed by Islamic State. However, the problem with this figure – and with governments acting in reliance upon it – is that previous polls have shown that a large number of Australians lack a clear understanding of the laws already in place. This field of national security law and policy is extremely complex and, furthermore, has historically been shrouded in a veil of secrecy. The purpose of this website is to consolidate information about national security law and policy in Australia in a clear and accessible form so as to improve public knowledge of this field. We also are hopeful that it will be useful in providing background information for media outlets as well as in enriching political debate.

Current Developments

Information about current developments is available at the following pages:

We would appreciate your support to keep this information as comprehensive and up-to-date as possible. Please use the below form to inform us of any developments:


The editors of this website were previously members of the Australian Research Council Laureate Project (2009-2014) led by Professor George Williams AO in the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales. We acknowledge the invaluable contribution that the others members of the Laureate Project made to the research upon which this website is built. In particular, we wish to thank Dr Rebecca Ananian-Welsh, Dr Fergal Davis, Dr Keiran Hardy, Dr Sangeetha Pillai, Dr Tamara Tulich and Dr Svetlana Tyulkina. A special debt of gratitude is owed to Professor Williams for the guidance he has given us throughout our academic careers.