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 Mr BELL: It takes only a phone call to indicate the facts and the matter will go to court - end of story. There are no letters, no avenues of appeal. This is the Ombudsman. It is n o t ... Mr Perron: I do not think the Ombudsman does much on the phone. I believe it is all recorded, and reasonably so. I do not say that by way of criticism. Every communication would be recorded. Mr EDE: Once again, the Chief Minister may be raising a point. Even if he found complaints that were not frivolous or vexatious, so that the power of the Ombudsman was interfering in that regard, that is still not the sole purpose of this legislation. This amendment goes vastly beyond that. If that is your real problem, you are using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut. There is another point that I would like to raise in relation to proposed section 3(l)(eb)(vi) which concerns an action by the Director of Public Prosecutions relating to the requiring of information to be given. Surely the requiring of information to be given is most often an administrative process and not a judicial process. It appears that you are trying to raise barriers where, by your definition, processes move beyond the purely administrative towards the judicial. I cannot see how that relates to the requiring of information. That seems to go well beyond that. I do not see why that has to be in the amendment as well. Mr STONE: Mr Chairman ... Mr Bell: They have their big guns in now. Mr STONE: You were making statements across the Chamber that did not sound correct and therefore I thought I would try to find the second-reading speech. I knew from the period when I was Attorney-General that what you were saying was incorrect in that there was some conflict between an Attorney-General retaining those rights to initiate a prosecution parallel with that of the DPP. Mr Ede: You are not answering my question. Mr STONE: I am just clarifying how that works to ensure that there is no confusion. I will read from page 8969 of the Parliamentary Record for Wednesday, 28 February 1990: Again, it is the director who must decide to initiate a request for the Attorney-General to act. For the range o f reasons to which I have referred, it is necessary for the Attorney-General to retain what may fairly be described as a 'reserve power to act in appropriate cases. This is confirmed by the fact that in every jurisdiction in Australia where there is a DPP and also in the United Kingdom, the Attorney-General retains full power to act in prosecution matters. This fact is reflected in clause 21(3). Clause 29 regulates the rare situation in which the Attorney-General does exercise any o f his powers to ensure that the director does not act inconsistently, but again the provision is designed to ensure the parliamentary and public 3596