Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 with from time to time. I disagree with them, but so be it. Those bodies base decisions on the evidence before them. To return to the Director of Public Prosecutions and his decisions to prosecute or not, the courts can be very severely critical of the way matters are handled by the DPP and his officers. That is a potentially severe judgment because, as we all know, judges conduct themselves without fear or favour. In addition, the DPP is in a slightly uncomfortable position because, as I understand it, the Attorney-General has all the powers that the DPP has. Mr Bell: No. Mr PERRON: If the DPP does not prosecute a case, the Attorney-General can. Mr Bell: Wrong. Mr PERRON: That is what I am told. I am told that the DPPs powers duplicate those of the Attorney-General, but the Attorney-General has not abandoned his powers statutorily. In addition - and members may not be aware of this; certainly, it was news to me - members of this Assembly can ask the DPP questions through the Attorney-General. I quote from the act that establishes the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions. Section 30, information to be furnished to the Attorney-General, reads in part: The director shall, so far as the interests o f justice allow, furnish the Attorney-General with such information relating to the functions o f the director as the Attorney-General requires (a) for the proper conduct o f the A ttorney- Generals business; or (b) to enable the Legislative Assembly to be informed and questions asked in the Assembly to be answered concerning the functions o f the director or the operations o f this act. Mr Bell interjecting. Mr PERRON: Do not underestimate the pow er... Mr Ede inteijecting. Mr Bell: The more you assimilate them with his powers... Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Chief Minister has the floor. Mr PERRON: The power of parliamentary scrutiny should not be overlooked. The power of parliamentary scrutiny comes into play when the DPP may decide not to prosecute an individual. Where there are examples, they are usually the most public examples. Why should it not be raised in parliament? We are here also to speak without fear or favour. We are protected by privilege. 3587