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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2775 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

ours, we do not do this sort of thing or, if we do, we do it only with the strongest and most pressing justification.

I think it is worth noting that the ALRC, in its report on criminal investigations, noted that at common law the police do not have a comprehensive power to take photographs and fingerprints. It noted that in R v Ireland, Barwick CJ, a former Liberal Attorney-General, said that "neither at common law nor under that statute has a police officer power to require a person to submit himself for photography for any purpose other than identification", the point that Mr Kaine makes. All right, do it for identification. If you want to do it for any other purpose, and it is clear in this case that that is what you intend, then justify the purpose. If you need to justify it, justify it to a magistrate.

In a decision of the Supreme Court of the ACT, Fox J read a statutory provision in a way that precluded the police from fingerprinting a person in custody merely because that was thought desirable. It is a puerile response to these fundamental issues to do so because you think it is a good idea and because of the point that the Attorney made by way of interjection that, if they are not guilty, they have nothing to fear. The ALRC endorsed the common law position. It approved the views of the then Victorian Chief Justice's law reform committee that the taking of fingerprints and photographs of a person, and this is where you get to the fundamental issue, involved a certain embarrassment and indignity.

The ALRC said that there is, for better or worse, an aura of real criminality about having one's fingerprints or photograph compulsorily taken. The ALRC went on to recommend how the taking of fingerprints and photographs of a person in custody should be limited to circumstances where that was necessary to identify the person or to afford evidence of the commission of a crime, and it goes on. There are fundamental reasons why we do not just go around willy-nilly trashing people's rights in this way.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (10.34): I am amazed at Mr Stanhope's comments. Obviously, photographs and fingerprints are taken for identification. I thought that was utterly basic, Mr Speaker.

Question put:

That clause 5 be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

 		Ayes 9  			Noes 8

 Mrs Burke  	Mr Osborne  		Mr Berry  	Mr Stanhope
 Mr Cornwell  	Mr Rugendyke  		Mr Corbell  	Ms Tucker
 Mr Hird  	Mr Smyth  		Mr Hargreaves  	Mr Wood
 Mr Humphries  	Mr Stefaniak  		Mr Kaine  
 Mr Moore    				Mr Quinlan

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Clause 5 agreed to.

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