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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 307 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

that again themselves in terms of how someone becomes a security officer and how a chief executive has to be satisfied in relation to a number of points.

There are clauses already in this bill which deal with security officers having to exercise powers properly on reasonable grounds. Now there are a lot of people governed by legislation in our community who are empowered to do something or other and who have to exercise those powers on reasonable grounds. Police officers have to do that from time to time. Government officials have to do that from time to time in terms of administering certain acts. And, if they do not, things flow from that.

I will cite a couple of clauses where that applies in relation to this particular bill: clause 8 subsection (2), clause 9 subsection (3). I will also quote clause 9 subsections (6) and (7), which relate to searches. Clause 9 subsection (6) says:

A person who conducts a frisk search under paragraph (2) (b) is not civilly liable for an act or omission done honestly in conducting the search.

Clause 9 (7) states:

A liability that would, apart from subsection (6), attach to a person, attaches instead to the territory.

That means the territory is liable for acts that are wrong by any security officer there.

So there are those checks. The government will also be bringing in its own amendments. Mr Stanhope, I think, also mentioned some words-"the current situation is uncertain and open to challenge"-and he stressed "open to challenge" as if any actions could not be open to challenge. Quite clearly, on those subsections I have just referred to in this current bill, actions are open to challenge. Actions always do have to be open to challenge in case someone-in this instance here we are dealing with security officers-misuses a power given to them. It is just like the actions of police officers and government officials enforcing acts are open to challenge. That is a fundamental part of our democratic system and it is incorporated in this bill. I think you have to read the real problem here. He mentioned "uncertain and open to challenge". I think the "uncertain" is crucial there. It is uncertain and open to challenge because of the uncertainty in relation to what exists at present.

Mr Stanhope quoted some concerns of the Bar Association. I noted here I had a letter expressing support for this piece of legislation from the Victims of Crime. Whilst not giving specific incidents, they raise some concerns which members may have heard from time to time in relation to that particular organisation. Here we are, it is a letter to Brett Phillips in the Criminal Law Section from Robyn Holder, the Coordinator of Victims of Crime. She thanks him for his letter of February regarding court security and firstly says:

I welcome the initiative to enhance court security. It is timely for a number of reasons. First, there have been numerous instances where crime victims have been intimidated by the presence and activities of defendants whilst in and around court premises. Current court security staff have been very responsive in providing assistance as and when necessary. On occasion this assistance has extended to escorting victims to the car park. It would be useful, therefore, if the new legislation

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