Robert Marsden Hope

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The Hon. Justice

Robert Marsden Hope

AC CMG, LLB (Syd) QC
Justice Robert Marsden Hope.jpg
Judge of Appeal of the New South Wales Supreme Court
In office
1972–1989
Judge of the New South Wales Supreme Court
In office
1969–1972
Royal Commissioner on Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies
In office
17 May 1983 22 May 1985
Appointed by Prime Minister Bob Hawke
Royal Commissioner on Intelligence and Security
In office
21 August 1974 25 October 1977
Appointed by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam
Royal Commissioner into the National Estate
In office
1973–1974
Appointed by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam
Personal details
Born(1919-07-24)24 July 1919
Died12 October 1999(1999-10-12) (aged 80)
NationalityAustralian
Spouse(s)June Hope
Profession Barrister and Judge

Robert Marsden Hope, AC CMG QC (24 July 1919 – 12 October 1999) was a Justice of the New South Wales Court of Appeal and Royal Commissioner on three separate occasions, most notably the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security. As a judge Hope was known for his legal positivism and as a royal commissioner he "instilled a sense of impartiality". [1] [2]

Contents

Career

Justice Hope received his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney before being raised to the New South Wales Bar on 26 October 1945. During his time at university had at attempted to join the Communist Party of Australia but due to "administrative incompetence" it had failed. [3]

By his own admission in 1998 the 1960s had brought Hope considerable professional success owing to his strategic decision to join the Liberal Party of Australia. Hope was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1960. He became President of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties "but within weeks" he was then appointed Justice of the New South Wales Supreme Court. Hope was finally made a Justice of Appeal of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the New South Wales judiciary system in 1972, a position he held until his retirement in 1989. He also received that on two occasions he had allowed himself to be pressured by President Athol Moffitt into reaching decisions "he would have otherwise not made". [4]

Justice Hope was appointed to the Australian Council for the Arts in 1974 and awarded the honour of Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1977. [5] In 1989 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), [6] Australia's highest civilian honour. [7] [8] Hope was known as a "university senator and chancellor, a patron and promoter of the performing arts, (and) a civil libertarian". [9] He held a seat on the Senate of the University of Sydney from 1970 till 1975 when he became the first Chancellor of the University of Wollongong, a position he held until 1997. Hope was the Chairman of the New South Wales Heritage Council from 1978 to 1993 and was also the Chairman of the Law Reform Commission from 1990 to 1993.

Death

Hope died in 1999 at the age of 80. After his death, the University of Wollongong awarded him an honorary Doctorate in Law. He was survived by his wife, June Hope. In 2002, a park in the Northern Canberra suburb of Watson was named in his honour in recognition of his (unrealised) environmental work. [10] The park is known for its biodiversity. [11] In 2011 the Patent Office Building in Canberra was renamed the Robert Marsden Hope Building in recognition of his achievements. [12]

Royal commissions and inquiries

National Estate (cultural heritage and environment)

In 1973, Hope was appointed the head commissioner in National Estate Committee of Inquiry (1973–1974). This commission dealt with Australia's cultural heritage, both architectural and environmental. Its findings formed the backbone of the Whitlam Government's heritage and environmental agenda although its landmark recommendations were never realised. [13] [14]

Australian Intelligence Community

In 1974, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam appointed Justice Hope to head the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security (RCIS). Completed in 1977, Hope's recommendations – most of which had been pre-empted by the Whitlam Government – would secure the new bipartisan support for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). Later, in 1998, Hope revealed that he regretted a number of his core recommendations and that he found ASIO to be a highly partisan and incompetent organisation. [15]

Hope was again commissioned only a year later in 1978 to conduct the Protective Security Review (PSR) into protective security arrangements for the Commonwealth as well as co-operation between national and state cooperation on protective security following the bombing of the Hilton Hotel in Sydney during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting (CHOGRM). While the review nominally targeted "protective security", it was the threat of international terrorism in Australia that was at the heart of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser's decision to use Hope's experience in the area of Australia's intelligence services. When completed in 1979, the review essentially ended up probing, "in a broad sense, terrorism possibilities in Australia, and ways, and means of State, Territory and Commonwealth co-operation in dealing with the threat of terror". [16] Again as a direct result of his recommendations, government policy on intelligence and security changed. Hope designated ASIO as the agency responsible for producing national threat assessments in the field of terrorism and politically motivated violence and at the end of 1979, a new ASIO Act came into being which implemented many of Hope's recommendations from the RCIS and the PSR. At the same time, the Security Appeals Tribunal, another of Hope's RCIS recommendations, was bought into being.

In 1983, the Hawke Government requested that Hope once again become commissioner for the Royal Commission into Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies. Soon after this request was made the government became embroiled in the Combe-Ivanov affair, which involved an expelled Soviet agent, Valery Ivanov, who had been the First Secretary for the Soviet Embassy. The publicity surrounding the affair saw the Hawke Government commission Hope again to look into intelligence issues. Hope completed the Royal Commission into Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies (RCASIA) in 1984 and made a range of logical and basic recommendations (in terms of the evolution of policies of the time) that again altered the parameters that Australia's intelligence agencies operated under and bought them into the political and cultural paradigms of the 1980s. One of Justice Hope's RCASIA recommendations was that "the ASIO Act expressly provide that it is not the purpose of the Act that the right of lawful advocacy, protest or dissent should be affected or that exercising those rights should, by themselves, constitute activity prejudicial to security". [17] This recommendation was important from a cultural aspect in the sense that it effectively removed security agencies from suppression of civil protest and dissent in Australia. He also recommended the creation of the office of Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security to oversee and hold accountable the various agencies. As if to highlight the need for such a position, only the same year RCASIA was commissioned, the Security Appeals Tribunal ruled in a case against ASIO where they had given an unfavourable security assessment on a member of the Australian Communist Party, that "membership of the Communist Party of Australia did not warrant a recommendation against the grant of access to classified national security material (such as required by their job – Ed.). A nexus between the applicant and particular activities of security interest needed to be shown" [17] – all very much in keeping with Hope's civil libertarian position [9] and a marker of where the Australian intelligence and security agencies saw their priorities in the pre-Hilton Bombing environment.

In 1986 the ASIO Act was amended to take into consideration the recommendations of Hope in the RCASIA.

Related Research Articles

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation is Australia's national security agency responsible for the protection of the country and its citizens from espionage, sabotage, acts of foreign interference, politically motivated violence, attacks on the Australian defence system, and terrorism. ASIO is comparable to the British Security Service (MI5) and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). ASIO is part of the Australian Intelligence Community.

Australian Secret Intelligence Service Australian foreign intelligence agency

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service is Australia's foreign intelligence agency. ASIS was formed in 1952, but its existence remained secret even within the Government until 1972. ASIS is part of the Australian Intelligence Community responsible for the collection of foreign intelligence, including both counter-intelligence and liaising with the intelligence agencies of other countries. In these roles, ASIS is comparable to the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Canada's Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Australian Signals Directorate Australian signals intelligence agency

Australian Signals Directorate is the Australian government agency responsible for foreign signals intelligence, support to military operations, cyber warfare, and information security. ASD is part of the Australian Intelligence Community. ASD's role within UKUSA Agreement is to monitor SIGINT in South and East Asia. The ASD also houses the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

Office of National Assessments Australian intelligence agency

The Office of National Assessments (ONA) was an Australian statutory intelligence agency established by the Office of National Assessments Act 1977 as an independent statutory body directly accountable to the Prime Minister of Australia as a portfolio agency of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. ONA provided all-source assessments on international political, strategic and economic developments to the Prime Minister and the National Security Committee of Cabinet. ONA also played a coordination role in the Australian Intelligence Community through evaluating foreign intelligence products, convening the National Intelligence Coordination Committee, and developing relationships with intelligence agencies around world.

Petrov Affair

The Petrov Affair was a Cold War spy incident in Australia in April 1954, concerning Vladimir Petrov, Third Secretary of the Soviet embassy in Canberra.

Rowan Cahill is an Australian radical historian and journalist, with a background as a teacher and farmhand, who variously worked for the trade union movement as a rank and file activist, delegate and publicist.

The Australian Intelligence Community (AIC) and the National Intelligence Community (NIC) or National Security Community of the Australian Government are the collectives of statutory intelligence agencies, policy departments, and other government agencies concerned with protecting and advancing the national security and national interests of the Commonwealth of Australia. The intelligence and security agencies of the Australian Government have evolved since the Second World War and the Cold War and saw transformation and expansion during the Global War on Terrorism with military deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq and against ISIS in Syria. Key international and national security issues for the Australian Intelligence Community include terrorism and violent extremism, cybersecurity, transnational crime, the rise of China, and Pacific regional security.

Geoffrey Reed South Australian judge; first Director-General of Security

Sir Geoffrey Sandford Reed KC was a justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia and the first Director-General of Security and head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

The Honourable James Roland Tomson Wood AO, QC is the chairman of Law Reform Commission of New South Wales, the chairman of the New South Wales Sentencing Council, the Inspector of the Police Integrity Commission and a former judge in Australia. He is currently a judge of the Fiji Court of Appeal.

Athol Randolph Moffitt (1914-2007) was an eminent Australian jurist and was the author of several books. He is best known as the chair of the landmark 1973-74 Moffitt Royal Commission, which investigated organised crime in New South Wales.

The Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO) was an Australian government intelligence agency that existed between 1969 and 1990 and which was responsible for the analysis of defence and foreign intelligence.

Harvey David Mathew Combe was National Secretary of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), a political consultant and lobbyist, an Australian Trade Commissioner, a Senior Vice-President International of Southcorp Wines, and a consultant to the Australian wine industry. He achieved a degree of unwanted prominence through the Combe-Ivanov affair of 1983.

Jenny Hocking Australian academic

Jennifer Jane Hocking, is a political scientist and biographer. She is the inaugural Distinguished Whitlam Fellow with the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University, Emeritus Professor at Monash University, and former Director of the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. Her work is in two key areas, counter-terrorism and Australian political biography. In both areas she explores Australian democratic practice, the relationship between the arms of government, and aspects of Australian political history. Her research into the life of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam uncovered significant new material on the role of High Court justice Sir Anthony Mason in the dismissal of the Whitlam government. This has been described as "a discovery of historical importance". Since 2001 Hocking has been a member of the Board of Tustees of the Lionel Murphy Foundation.

The Combe-Ivanov affair was an Australian political scandal of 1983. A Soviet diplomat and KGB spy, Valery Ivanov, was expelled after he was found to have compromised a senior Australian Labor Party (ALP) figure, David Combe. The affair also claimed the political scalp of a minister, Mick Young, and resulted in a Royal Commission being established under Justice Robert Hope to review Australia's security and intelligence agencies.

The Murphy raids on the offices of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) occurred on 16 March 1973. The purpose of the raids, instigated by Attorney-General Lionel Murphy, was to obtain terrorism-related information that the ASIO was accused of withholding. Murphy was operating without the consent of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam or the Whitlam Government, nor the judiciary as warrants were not sought owing to the belief that it was Commonwealth property. This view would later be found to be legally valid by the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security.

The Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security (RCIS), also known as the First Hope Commission, was a Royal Commission established on 21 August 1974 by Prime Minister of Australia Gough Whitlam to reach findings and make recommendations as to the Australian Intelligence Community.

Peter Robert Woolnough Barbour was an Australian intelligence officer and diplomat. He was also the Director-General of Security leading the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) from 1970 to 1975.

National Security Committee (Australia)

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National Intelligence Coordination Committee

The National Intelligence Coordination Committee (NICC) is a peak intergovernmental officials-level body of the Government of Australia responsible for the development and co-ordination of the Australian Intelligence Community in accordance with the National Security Committee of Cabinet. The NICC is chaired by the Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence.

Robert Marsden Hope Building A heritage listed government office located in Canberra, Australia

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References

  1. Coventry, CJ. Origins of the Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security (2018: MA thesis submitted at UNSW), 169.
  2. Parkes, Aidan (2 September 2017). "Lessons through Reform: Australia's Security Intelligence". The International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs. Informa UK Limited. 19 (3): 157–170. doi:10.1080/23800992.2017.1384675. ISSN   2380-0992.
  3. Coventry, CJ. Origins of the Royal Commission, 187.
  4. Coventry, CJ. Origins of the Royal Commission, 184-85, 187.
  5. "CMG". It's an Honour. 11 June 1977.
  6. "AC". It's an Honour. 26 January 1989.
  7. New South Wales Attorney General's Department (2004). "HOPE – Robert Marsden – Law Reform Commission : Lawlink NSW". Lawlink NSW website. New South Wales Attorney General's Department. Retrieved 22 April 2008.
  8. Coventry, CJ. Origins of the Royal Commission, 169.
  9. 1 2 The State of New South Wales (1999). "Obituary – Robert Marsden Hope". The Heritage Council of New South Wales Website. The State of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  10. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/woodlands-defenders-welcome-inadequate-nature-reserve-in-watson-20160629-gpuxbs.html
  11. http://majura.org/the-trouble-with-offsets-from-background-briefing-on-radio-national/2/
  12. "ParlInfo - Speech at the opening of the Robert Marsden Hope building, ONA, Canberra". parlinfo.aph.gov.au. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  13. Tom Uren, "More grants for National Estate projects", press release, 30 April 1974; Tom Uren, "Speech in the House of Representatives", press release, 19 September 1974; Tom Uren, "Holiday message", press release, 26 December 1974; Gough Whitlam, "the National Estate report", press release, 25 April 1974.
  14. Coventry, CJ. Origins of the Royal Commission, 169.
  15. Coventry, CJ. Origins of the Royal Commission, Chp. 8.
  16. Crown, James (1986). Australia: The Terrorist Connection. Melbourne: Sun Books – The Macmillan Company of Australia. pp. 18–19. 0725105089.
  17. 1 2 Commonwealth of Australia. "Significant events in ASIO's history". Australia Security Intelligence Organisation Website. Commonwealth of Australia. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2008.

Sources

New South Wales Attorney General's Department (2004). "HOPE – Robert Marsden – Law Reform Commission : Lawlink NSW". Lawlink NSW website. New South Wales Attorney General's Department. Retrieved 22 April 2008.

The University of Wollongong (2006). "University of Wollongong – Honorary Graduates, Emeritus Professors and Fellows" (PDF). The University of Wollongong. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2008.

Crown, James (1986). Australia: The Terrorist Connection. Melbourne: Sun Books – The Macmillan Company of Australia. pp. 18–19. 0-725-10508-9.

The Commonwealth of Australia (2008). "Significant events in ASIO's history". The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Website. eDIME Internet Agency. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2008.

The Commonwealth of Australia (2007). "Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (2007)" (PDF). Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 (2007). ComLaw – Commonwealth of Australia Law Website. Retrieved 22 April 2008.

The Commonwealth of Australia (2006). "ASIO Speeches – 11 September five years later: Where to from here?". Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Website. eDIME Internet Agency. Retrieved 22 April 2008.

The University of Wollongong (2002). "Robert Hope scholarship launched". The University of Wollongong Website News Archives. The University of Wollongong News and Media Unit. Archived from the original on 3 September 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2008.

The University of Sydney (2008). "The University of Sydney Senate Website". The University of Sydney Website. The University of Sydney. Retrieved 22 April 2008.


Academic offices
New title Chancellor of the University of Wollongong
1975 1996
Succeeded by
Mike Codd