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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 11 Hansard (30 November) . . Page.. 3480..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

The Bill formalises the power of a judge or magistrate to order that a person, or a class of persons, be removed or excluded from court premises.

If a person attending at court does not wish to submit to a search of their property or person, he or she can simply choose to leave the court premises.

The power to eject gives police and other security officers the option of ejecting a person, instead of using powers of arrest or detention. However, the Bill does restrict the powers of security officers to eject a person who identifies himself or herself as a person who is attending at court to answer a subpoena, bail or other court process. In these cases a person can only be refused entry or required to leave with the court's permission.

The powers are consistent with the powers that exist in the Commonwealth jurisdiction, in the Family Court and the Federal Court. As with the practice in these courts, it is not intended that every person who wishes to enter a court in the Territory will be subjected to a search. The Bill covers those situations where there is a possibility that court security will be breached. To provide "Watered down" legislation may result in court security not being effective when it is ultimately needed.

The Bill contains provisions enabling the new powers to be exercised by police, the sheriff and his or her staff, and other "security officers". This will ensure that when the issue of court security arises in Canberra due to the nature of proceedings before a court, neither the operations of the court nor general policing operations in Canberra are impaired should there be a shortage of police officers. All "security officers" will be required to be registered as security guards with the ACT Security Protection and Investigation Industry Council and will be appointed in writing by the chief executive of my department or an appropriate public servant delegated to act on his behalf.

The Bill requires all security officers who are not police officers to be issued with identity cards and to wear the identity cards while they are on duty. It is an offence for a security officer not to wear an identity card.

In closing, I urge members of this Assembly to support this Bill to provide additional protection, when necessary, to those people in the community who use the courts.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned to the next sitting.

UNIT TITLES BILL 2000

Mr Smyth , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.01): Mr Speaker, I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.


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