Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill

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Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill

Government Bill


Explanatory note

General policy statement

This Bill introduces a civil regime of control orders to manage and monitor a small number of people who are returning to, or who have arrived in, New Zealand after having engaged in terrorism-related activities overseas.

The control order regime targets individuals who pose a risk of engaging in further terrorism-related activities and for whom a criminal prosecution for their past terrorism-related activities overseas is not viable because of the significant difficulties associated with securing evidence from overseas jurisdictions (particularly in the context of an ongoing armed conflict).

Control orders would impose requirements on returnees to protect the public from terrorism, to prevent engagement in terrorism-related activities in a country (carrying out terrorism, or facilitating or supporting the carrying out of terrorism), and to support the returnee’s reintegration into New Zealand and rehabilitation. For example, an order could enable the electronic monitoring of a person’s movements, restrict their access to the Internet and other communication devices except on devices known to and monitored by the Police, prohibit associations with specific people or places, or require the person to report regularly to the Police.

Returnees’ reintegration into New Zealand and disengagement from radicalising influences are key to minimising future risks of terrorism. The implementation of the order would also be designed to help mobilise the necessary services for returnees’ reintegration (for example, needs assessments, alcohol and drug treatment services, or support into employment). Returnees would be encouraged to participate in programmes that lessen their risk, and this, in turn, could lead to an easing of requirements or discharge of their order.

Orders would be made by the High Court on application by the Commissioner of Police. In making the order, the court must be satisfied that the person is a relevant person (a person who is 18 years old or older, is or may be coming to New Zealand or has arrived in New Zealand, and has engaged in terrorism-related activities in a foreign country or meets other stated criteria). The court must also be satisfied that the person poses a risk of engaging in further terrorism-related activities and that the requirements the order imposes are necessary and appropriate for stated main and incidental purposes. Before imposing a requirement, the court must also consider how the condition would affect the returnee’s financial, health, or other personal, circumstances, must consider any other matter the court thinks relevant (for example, whether requirements are justified limits on rights and freedoms in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990), and must comply with relevant limits specified in the Bill.

An interim order operates until a final order is made and served or it is clear that no final order has been applied for or made. A final order can have a maximum duration of up to 2 years, and can be renewed by the court twice if there is evidence that the person still meets the criteria for the final order. No extension of the order would be available past 6 years. Breaches, without a reasonable excuse, of requirements of an order would be a criminal offence. The offence would be punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $2,000.

It is expected that orders would be applied for in respect of only a very small number of returnees, with estimates of no more than 2 orders made per year.

Departmental disclosure statement

The Ministry of Justice is required to prepare a disclosure statement to assist with the scrutiny of this Bill. The disclosure statement provides access to information about the policy development of the Bill and identifies any significant or unusual legislative features of the Bill.

Regulatory impact assessment

The Ministry of Justice produced a regulatory impact assessment on 17 July 2019 to help inform the main policy decisions taken by the Government relating to the contents of this Bill.

Clause by clause analysis

Clause 1 is the Title clause.

Clause 2 relates to commencement. The Act is to come into force on the day after the date of Royal assent.

Part 1Preliminary provisions

Clause 3 states the purpose of the Act.

Clause 4 explains that—

  • a diagrammatic overview of decisions in making a control order is set out in Schedule 2; and

  • the diagram is intended as a guide only.

Clause 5 contains definitions.

Clause 6 indicates who is a relevant person.

Clause 7 indicates what is engagement in terrorism-related activities.

Clause 8 makes clear the status of examples.

Clause 9 is about transitional, savings, and related provisions (see also Schedule 1).

Clause 10 ensures that the Act binds the Crown.

Part 2Control orders

Part 2 contains provisions on the following matters:

  • making and content of a control order:

  • applications for a control order:

  • requirements of a control order:

  • service of a control order:

  • taking effect, duration, and renewal of a control order:

  • variation or discharge, and suspension or expiry, of a control order and its requirements:

  • the general effect of appeals against a control order:

  • other matters (standard of proof, automatic suppression of identity of relevant person, offences, and application or operation of the Returning Offenders (Management and Information) Act 2015).

Schedule 1 contains transitional, savings, and related provisions.

Schedule 2 contains a diagrammatic overview of decisions in making a control order (see also clause 4).