The majority voted in favour of agreeing to the remaining stages of the bill, which means it passed. Since the bill had already been passed in the House of Representatives, it will now become law.
What does the bill do?
According to the bills digest, the bill was introduced in order to:
- respond to concern about the validity of certain ACIC determinations and other documents raised in the case of CXXXVIII v Commonwealth by confirming the validity of current and former Australian Crime Commission (ACC) special operations and special investigations, the lawfulness of which has been questioned and
- amend the process by which the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) Board authorises future special operations and special investigations, including by amending the threshold of which it must be satisfied.
Although the bill does not expand or alter the powers available to ACIC, parties like the Centre Alliance were concerned by the retroactive nature of the bill. That is, it will confirm the validity of current and former special operations and special investigations at a time when the High Court is considering the validity of these laws in the context of an alleged unlawful investigation.