Page 2405 - Week 06 - Thursday, 24 June 2010

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to privacy under the Human Rights Act. I would also like to draw to the Assembly’s attention article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which contemplates the notion of arrest on the basis of reasonable suspicion. Indeed, the police powers of arrest without warrant contained in section 212 of the Crimes Act set a similar threshold of “suspect on reasonable grounds”. This provision has not been found by the Supreme Court to be incompatible with the human rights jurisprudence.

I have previously announced that, as part of the implementation of the model cross-border laws, the government will progress a review of all of the ACT criminal investigative powers. I have advised the justice and community safety committee, in my response to report 20, that I expect to be in a position to release the discussion paper for this review shortly.

On 14 May, I released for public consultation the discussion paper in relation to police criminal investigative powers, with the consultation period concluding at the end of this month. That review will comprehensively evaluate for the first time all police powers of criminal investigations and ancillary laws in the territory. The review is a long-range project and will result in a proposal for substantial legislative reform.

A number of contentious issues are explored in the paper. These include the manner in which safeguards and protections for criminal suspects in police custody are described and the threshold at which police officers are able to exercise powers such as stop and search, both with and without warrant, and the power of arrest. Along with a series of other important questions, the paper includes a comprehensive analysis of the thresholds of “reasonable belief” and “reasonable suspicion”. The paper includes an analysis of the law and jurisprudence of Canada and the United Kingdom.

On this topic, I acknowledge the views and contributions made by the human rights commissioner and the Assembly scrutiny of bills committee. As I have indicated in correspondence with both of these parties recently, I am satisfied that the thresholds currently in the bill are compatible with international human rights jurisprudence. I do, however, accept that the question of thresholds for the exercise of powers by law enforcement and judicial officers warrants detailed attention, an exercise that should be conducted as part of a broader, holistic review of police criminal investigative powers.

The government does not support the remainder of Mr Rattenbury’s amendments.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12:00): As I noted in my in-principle speech, the Canberra Liberals will not be supporting this group of amendments. Our not supporting them does not necessarily suggest that they lack merit. Our concern lies in the need to maintain consistent legislative language across participating jurisdictions. In particular, the ACT’s legislation needs to be consistent with that in New South Wales and Victoria. This amendment would remove that consistency. The ACT legislation is already complicated by the fact that we are a jurisdiction that must take account of human rights legislation, and this would be more complicated by passing inconsistent legislation in relation to the use of surveillance devices.

In addition, I have previously noted that I have written to the Attorney-General to ask him to take the question of warrant application thresholds back to SCAG in an

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