Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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84 7.2 Preliminary Inquiries On receipt of a complaint the Ombudsman may make preliminary inquiries for the purposes of determining whether to exercise jurisdiction or to decline to deal with the complaint. The Parties agree that except where the Ombudsman states otherwise, the notification of a complaint by the Ombudsman to the Commander, PSC includes a request that PSC makes preliminary inquiries into the grounds of the complaint and recommends: (a) a particular classification under section 66 of the Act; or (b) that the Ombudsman decline to deal with the complaint. 7.3 Declining a Complaint Under section 67 of the Act, the Ombudsman may decline to deal with a complaint, or decline to continue the investigation of a complaint, if the Ombudsman is of the opinion the complaint is: (a) trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith; (b) the complainant does not have sufficient interest in the conduct that is the subject of the complaint; and there are no special reasons justifying dealing with the conduct under Part 7 of the Act; (c) disciplinary procedures have been started against the police officer whose conduct is the subject of the complaint for a breach of discipline in relation to the conduct; (d) the police officer whose conduct is the subject of the complaint has been charged with an offence in relation to the conduct; (e) dealing with the complaint is not within the public interest; or (f) another complaint's entity has, or will, investigate the conduct at substantially the same level the Ombudsman would otherwise have investigated the complaint. In addition, the Ombudsman may defer a decision on how to deal with, or to decline to deal with, a police complaint under Part 7 of the Act if satisfied that: (a) a proceeding before a court or tribunal has been, or is to be, commenced in relation to the conduct the subject of the police complaint; or (b) disciplinary procedures against a police officer whose conduct is the subject of a police complaint have been or are to be commenced in relation to the conduct (section 107(1)) of the Act. NOTE: There is no presumption or rule that the investigation of a police complaint under the Act should be delayed if proceedings are commenced. Each case will be assessed on its facts and consideration given to the issues being considered by the respective Court or Tribunal. As a general rule: Civil Proceedings If civil proceedings have been instituted there is unlikely to be any justification for delaying action on a complaint solely by reason of the existence of these proceedings; or Criminal Proceeding If a complaint is made while criminal charges are pending, and the complaint relates to the same incident from which the charges arose, the complaint is likely to be delayed if the elements of the charge(s) will result in the Court deciding the issues of the complaint. If a complaint is declined by the Ombudsman it will be processed in the following manner: (a) if the complaint was made directly to the Ombudsman by the complainant or their representative: i) the complainant or their representative will be notified by the Ombudsman that no further action will be taken on the matter;
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