This article examines the United Kingdom's Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act 2002 (Cth) from an international human rights law perspective. It argues that both pieces of legislation raise serious concerns in relation to international legal obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Both international treaties allow for 'derogation from certain provisions in times of 'public emergency. While the United Kingdom has officially derogated from some of its treaty obligations, Australia has yet to submit a similar notification. This article argues, however, that the United Kingdom's derogation is unlawful. Likewise, current circumstances in Australia would not permit lawful derogation from the ICCPR.