Offices of independent oversight have been established in democratic nations as a response to the enactment of extraordinary anti-terrorism laws in the contemporary era. These offices – which deliver post-enactment scrutiny of anti-terrorism laws – are designed to provide a backstop against legislation which has often been rushed through legislatures to meet the exigencies of the situation. Drawing on analysis of the Australian office of Independent National Security Legislation Monitor and the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, this paper assesses whether this type of independent oversight offers an effective means to hold the government to account, or is simply a rubber stamp to existing or proposed government policy