Australian Institute of Administrative Law

Webinar on review of decisions made by intelligence officials with Jake Blight of IGIS

5 Aug

Lunchtime Webinar

Review of Decisions made by Intelligence Officials

Presenter: Mr Jake Blight, Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

Chair: Ms Jaala Hinchcliffe, Integrity Commissioner

Officials in intelligence agencies, like other public officials, make decisions that affect the rights of individuals every day. The Ministers responsible for these agencies and the Attorney-General have significant decision making powers to authorise activities, including activities that would otherwise be unlawful. Theoretically, most if not all such decisions are subject to judicial review and a few are subject to AAT review. However, there are many practical barriers to individuals seeking review and remedies. Most people whose rights are affected by intelligence agencies will never even know that a decision affecting them has been made, and if they do find out they are unlikely to ever get access to most of the relevant information. Australian intelligence agencies are exempt from FOI Act and the ADJR Act regime and fall outside AHRC jurisdiction. Only a small number of ASIO decisions can be challenged in the AAT. The content of procedural fairness in national security-related matters can be reduced to almost nil, because of security issues. So what practical mechanisms are available to review, challenge, or provide assurance about the legality and propriety of intelligence agency activities? In this lunchtime AIAL webinar, we will explore the types of decisions that are made under the Intelligence Services Act 2001 and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979, the practical barriers to ‘traditional’ forms of administrative review and the role of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

Jake Blight has been the Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security since 2012. Prior to that he was a senior executive lawyer in the Australian Government Solicitor with a particular focus on statutory interpretation, administrative law and national security matters. He has served as General Counsel in three Commonwealth agencies.

Jaala Hinchcliffe was appointed as the Integrity Commissioner and agency head for the Australian Law Enforcement Integrity Commission on 10 February 2020. Prior to that appointment, she was the Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman and held a number of senior executive roles at Parliament House with the Department of Parliamentary Services and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Date: Wednesday 5 August 2020

Time: 12.30pm Webinar via Zoom

The webinar is open to all members of the AIAL and to any interested members of the public.

Admission is free, but registration is required. Please book via the TryBooking link:

Inquiries can be directed to the AIAL Secretariat on 02 6290 1505 or at


Except in WA, CLE/CPD points are available if this educational activity is relevant to your immediate or long term needs in relation to your professional development and practice of the law. Please contact your local law society for further details. Any WA practitioners attending should note this event is not currently covered by AIAL WA Chapter QA accreditation, although the WA Chapter is exploring options.

Webinar on review of decisions made by intelligence officials Webinar on review of decisions made by intelligence officials (288 KB)


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