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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2021) . . Page.. 2017 ..

Where an officer is wearing a body-worn camera it must be used in dealings with members of the public, subject again to some limited exceptions. The exceptions include if the use of a camera is not reasonably practical or use could cause or increase risk to a person’s safety or use would unreasonably limit a person’s privacy.

Guidelines will be developed as a disallowable instrument that will further detail the circumstances where body-worn cameras can and must be used, including providing more detail and examples of the exceptional circumstances where use is not required or appropriate. The guidelines will be issued by the Chief Police Officer and must contain a statement about how human rights have been considered.

A further amendment to the Crimes (Sentencing) Act rectifies an anomaly that prevents appeal courts from amending a non-parole period where a sentence of imprisonment is set aside or amended on appeal. The amendments are to the effect that any non-parole period to which the offender is subject is automatically cancelled and the existing provisions in the act for setting non-parole periods apply to the appeal court in setting any new non-parole period.

This bill also amends the Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Act 2006, extending it for 12 months from its current end date of 19 November 2021 to 19 November 2022. This follows the recent review of the operation and effectiveness of the act where an ongoing concern about the importance of limiting rights intrusions was made clear. The short extension of this act is to allow further consideration of opportunities for change to further enhance the right to personal liberty while still ensuring that the legislation supports the safety and security of the community.

Finally, this bill also refines the operation of provisions that improve and maintain the conditions and human rights compliance of our correctional centres and detention places through amendments to the Inspector of Correctional Services Act 2017. This amendment changes the review period for the examination and review of correctional facilities from at least once every two years to at least once every three years to support the effective response to and implementation of the outcomes of reviews by the Inspector of Correctional Services. A three-year review cycle reflects practice in other jurisdictions, and I emphasise for the benefit of the Assembly that it does not prevent the Inspector of Correctional Services from conducting reviews more frequently where that is appropriate. The amendment also ensures early scrutiny of newly declared correctional centres and detention places by requiring their first examination and review within the first two years of their declaration, with the three-yearly cycles commencing after that.

Taken as a whole, this bill represents another example of the government’s ongoing commitment to improvements to the criminal justice system. We will keep listening to and working with our justice system stakeholders and, indeed, our whole community to ensure that our laws reflect and deliver on our community’s rightly high expectations. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Lee) adjourned to the next sitting.

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