How Nigel Scullion voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should introduce laws that allow people who have been convicted of certain terrorist offences to be kept in detention even after their custodial sentences have ended if there is an unacceptable risk that they will commit certain serious terrorism offences after being released

Division Nigel Scullion Supporters vote Division outcome

16th Aug 2018, 11:38 AM – Senate Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2018 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest, the bill was introduced to:

  • Extend provisions relating to control orders, preventative detention orders and the declared area offence, and terrorism-related stop, search and seizure powers, currently due to sunset on 7 September 2018, for a further three years
  • Extend provisions relating to questioning warrants and questioning and detention warrants, also currently due to sunset on 7 September 2018, for a further 12 months and
  • Implement the Government’s response to certain recommendations made by the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM) and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) in their most recent reviews of those provisions by: > * increasing the minimum period between an interim control order being made and the date set for a confirmation hearing from 72 hours to seven days > * allowing interim control orders to be varied > * clarifying the status of the original request for an interim control order in confirmation hearings > * providing that the issuing court must not make an order for costs against the person in relation to whom a control order is sought or has been made (subject to a limited exception) > * requiring the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to notify the PJCIS in writing of the making of an initial preventative detention order as soon as reasonably practicable > * amending the exception to the declared areas offence to include performing an official duty for the International Committee of the Red Cross > * enabling the Minister for Foreign Affairs to revoke a declaration of an area, and the PJCIS to review a declaration of an area, at any time > * requiring the AFP Commissioner to report to the relevant Minister, the INSLM and the PJCIS as soon as practicable after any exercise of the stop, search and seizure powers and > * requiring the Minister to report annually to Parliament on the use of the stop, search and seizure powers.
Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

1st Dec 2016 – Senate Criminal Code Amendment (High Risk Terrorist Offenders) Bill 2016 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time. They can now discuss the bill in more detail.

Main idea of the bill

According to the bills digest, the bill will:

... establish a scheme for the continuing detention of terrorist offenders who are considered to pose an unacceptable risk of committing certain serious terrorism offences if released into the community at the end of their custodial sentence. The scheme will establish a Continuing Detention Order, made by application to the Supreme Court of a state or territory.

The bills digest also noted that "[t]he proposed Bill is not definitively constitutionally sound". In other words, the Parliament may not actually have the power to make laws like this under the Australian Constitution as Continuing Detention Orders may go against parts of the Constitution. In particular, the bills digest raises the following issues:

whether preventative detention is a non-judicial function that cannot be vested in a Chapter III court

whether a person can be validly detained for the risk of future criminal acts, rather than as a punishment for previous criminal acts — this point of debate is valid for both the scheme proposed in the Bill as well as the existing Preventative Detention Order regime, which has also not yet been considered by the High Court

whether the proposed scheme is valid in so far as it results in the incarceration of people following the issue of an order that may be considered to lack fair process, particularly because the person who is the subject of the continuing detention order is not able to respond to all evidence that a court might consider

apparent limitations on the ability of the court to consider alternatives to continuing detention.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

How "voted moderately for" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 75 100

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 75 / 100 = 75%.

And then