BLOG: Foreign Influence Laws in Australia and Israel
Caplin & Drysdale

BLOG: Foreign Influence Laws in Australia and Israel

Date: 9/28/2020

*Political Law Extern Helen Brewer wrote this blog post along with Associate Olivia Marshall.

Just as the United States uses the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) to try to shed light on foreign influence in American politics, Australia and Israel have laws that attempt to ensure similar transparency in their own governments.

Like FARA, Australia’s Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme (“FITS”) Act defines the “registrable activities” that, if undertaken, require a person to register under the Act. These activities include lobbying, which the Act defines as representing the interests of any person in any government or political process or attempting to influence decisions or the outcome of that process. Individuals must register for each foreign principal they work on behalf of and must renew their registration annually. The Act’s definition of foreign principals includes foreign governments, entities or individuals related to a foreign government, and foreign political organizations. Generally, a person works “on behalf of” a foreign principal if they work under the direction of a foreign principal and at the time the arrangement commenced both parties knew or expected that it would entail registrable activities. The Act imposes special reporting requirements on registered individuals during federal election and voting periods.

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