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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2278 ..

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

The bill also amends the Terrorism (Extraordinary Temporary Powers) Act 2006 to extend it for 12 months, from its current end date of 19 November 2021 to 19 November 2022. This follows a recent review of the operation and effectiveness of the act which highlighted the importance of striking the appropriate balance between implementing legislation that is consistent with terrorism legislation introduced in other jurisdictions in accordance with the national agreements and promoting the human rights of those who are detained under these laws.

Previously this act has been extended for five years at a time without amendment. This 12-month extension of the act allows for a greater consideration of and consultation on ways to uphold the right to personal liberty while ensuring that legislation supports community safety and security in the face of potential terrorist threats.

Finally, the bill amends the Inspector of Correctional Services Act 2017, which promotes the right to humane treatment when deprived of liberty by extending the time allowed for the Inspector of Correctional Services to undertake periodic reviews of correctional centres and detention places. The Inspector of Correctional Services sought this amendment to allow sufficient time between reviews for the corrections facilities to implement any recommendations from reviews that have already been conducted.

This will improve the way our correctional centres and detention places maintain their conditions and comply with human rights by replacing the current two-year review cycle with a three-year review cycle, to support the effective response and implementation of review outcomes by the Inspector of Correctional Services. I note that, importantly, this does not prevent the Inspector of Correctional Services from conducting more frequent reviews where appropriate.

Extending the review cycle will allow directorates and agencies to fully consider and implement recommendations, particularly ones requiring lengthy implementation processes, before the next cyclical review. It will also reduce the administrative burden involved in preparing for and responding to the Inspector of Correctional Services reports by staggering the review and response time frames, which allows for more efficient management of government resources.

Overall, this bill demonstrates the government’s strong, ongoing commitment to improving the criminal justice system and outcomes for the people who are in contact with it. It shows that this government greatly values the human rights of all citizens and that we will continue to listen and work with the community and our stakeholders to ensure that our laws meet the justifiably high expectations of our community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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