Complaints About Australian Intelligence Organisations & the Potential Use of Mediation

  • Ian Wells
  • Rachael Field


Public complaints about the operations of the Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) are increasing in a global environment where there is heightened media publicity about Intelligence activity, and increased public awareness and debate about security related issues. These complaints need to be resolved in a way that maintains public confidence in, and promotes accountability of, the AIC. This article considers the way in which complaints about the AIC are currently dealt with through the office of the Inspector General of Intelligence Services (IGIS), and suggests that in the contemporary complaints environment there is significant potential for an increase in the use of informal dispute resolution methods such as mediation. The article argues that the benefits of mediation, when applied to appropriate cases, extend from resource savings to broader issues of public interest promotion and increased accountability of Intelligence organisations. Further, mediation offers the potential to involve members of the public directly in resolving their complaint, and allows for greater numbers of complaints to be dealt with expeditiously and effectively. Whilst, mediation is not an appropriate process for handling all complaints made to the IGIS about the AIC, the article suggests a specific model of mediation that would take into account issues to do with security constraints and agency concerns.
Dec 1, 2003
How to Cite
WELLS, Ian; FIELD, Rachael. Complaints About Australian Intelligence Organisations & the Potential Use of Mediation. QUT Law Review, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2, dec. 2003. ISSN 2201-7275. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 feb. 2021. doi:
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