Page 3193 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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To give an example, if the warrant is for entry and search for a thing connected to an offence under the child sex offenders act but the officer finds evidence of theft, the privilege will ensure that the evidence is not available to be used to prosecute that theft. It is important to note that police will still have the power to seize a thing that they believe on reasonable grounds is connected with an offence punishable by 12 months imprisonment or more, and potentially destroy the thing with the court’s approval.

In relation to encrypted data, a provision has been included that any material obtained under this power is not admissible in a proceeding, except for a proceeding under the child sex offenders act or a proceeding under part 3.4 of the Criminal Code. This is consistent with similar provisions in ACT legislation that compel a person to provide information that leads to disclosure of other information or evidence and aligns with the requirements outlined in Australian case law and common law relating to the privilege against self-incrimination. The use of that further information is only permitted for strictly limited purposes.

The limitations on the right to privacy and the privilege against self-incrimination are fundamental for the protection of children and the community and minimising the incidence of reoffending under the registration and reporting scheme. The scheme cannot operate effectively without mechanisms to ensure offenders report all necessary information and police are able to verify these details. Reporting of some information is central to allowing registered offenders to live in the community.

The bill does engage a number of other rights that I have not spoken about today such as the rights to recognition and equality before the law, protection of family and children, freedom of movement, the right to liberty and security of the person, fair trial, rights in criminal processes and against retrospective criminal laws.

As there is a clear and rational connection between the proposed amendments and the issues that they aim to combat, I am satisfied that the reforms are proportionate and justified in the circumstances and that they will lessen the risks offenders may pose to the community. This view is based on the detailed analysis on the limitations of each human right in the context of section 28 of the Human Rights Act, which is outlined in the explanatory statement to the bill.

I will just briefly take this opportunity to note, as others have, that I have provided a response to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety Scrutiny of Bills Committee report No 36. This report made a number of comments on the bill and the explanatory statement which have been comprehensively addressed in the response I have provided to the opposition and the Greens today. As a consequence, I will be moving minor government amendments to the bill based on a question asked by the committee about the immunity provisions in sections 116Q(4) and 116Z of the bill. These amendments clarify the nature of the immunity to apply direct and derivative use as originally intended in the bill and do not change the substance of the bill.

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