How George Brandis 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 George Brandis Supporters vote Division outcome

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

Show detail

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.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

How "voted very strongly 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 0 0 0
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: 50 50

*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 = 50 / 50 = 100%.

And then