The Law Council says a judge should oversee the issuing of warrants to use intrusive intelligence collection powers.
The Morrison government on Friday released the findings of a landmark review of intelligence and security laws by former spy chief Dennis Richardson.
The government also released its response, including a move towards ministerial authorisation of intelligence collection powers.
"The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand all have judicial authorisation requirements for their intrusive intelligence collection powers," Law Council president Pauline Wright said.
"The Law Council accepts that powers that limit rights and liberties are often necessary for intelligence agencies to keep us safe and protect our national interest.
"But for the public to have trust and confidence in covert activities it is essential the utmost independence and rigour applies when granting authorisations."
Lawyers have backed other recommendations including a consolidated Electronic Surveillance Act, and better oversight laws.
Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said it was concerning the government had sat on the review since December 2019.
"Labor will now carefully study this report before providing our response," he said.
Australian Associated Press