Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

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Parliamentary Record 21


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




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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D EB AT ES - T hu rsday 21 October 1993 . . . all lead to the conclusion that the common law rights of a citizen to arrest in relation to felonies was repealed by the Criminal Code Act on 1 January 1984. There is nothing in the code which points in the opposite direction. On advice, we find the protections for citizens to carry out an arrest do not exist. When we ascertained from a copy of the transcript exactly what was m e a n t , we set about looking at whether the government needed to legislate to return to citizens the right enjoyed by all other Australian citizens which is allowed by all other countries under the Westminster system. I do not think that that is unreasonable. We found that the judgment said that that is not what occurs. We have also been informed that there is a possibility that the judgment could be challenged. However, again that exercise would take some months and, during that time, the citizens of the Territory would be without protection under law should they carry out arrests under the same circumstances that other people in Australia can. Once that was ascertained, there was then a need ... Mr Ede interjecting. . Mr MANZIE: Will you please allow me to finish. I am trying very hard not to upset you, but I want to set out the facts so that you can understand that the accusation that I have done this at the last minute is not ... Mr Ede: However, your analysis of the situation in the states is not cor r e c t . Mr MANZIE: We will go through that when we deal with the bill because the advice that you are working from is not as accurate as you think it is. Once that conclusion was reached, we had to look at drafting something suitable and that process was put in train. When the first drafts and discussions came together, I sent this matter to the Criminal Code Review Committee which met last Friday. As well as that, I had to prepare appropriate legislation for Cabinet to consider and I sought advice from the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission on 12 October in an attempt to ascertain as many views as I could about the problems and the best way to address them. I took the short cut, which is most unusual, of not proceeding through Cabinet first to obtain approval for the drafting of a bill- That step was omitted and we went straight to the procedure of drafting a bill. The final draft was modified several times as a result of information that came in and, when the final bill had been prepared and approved by Cabinet, I sent the Leader of the Opposition a copy of it immediately, together with a letter. The reason why I sent it to the Leader of the Opposition was because, unfortunately, I have found in the past that the shadow spokesman on law tends to put material in his briefcase and wait until the matter is raised in this House. If it is introduced as a matter of urgency, he will say suddenly that he knows nothing about it. Therefore, I sent the copy of the bill to the Leader of the Opposition for him to forward it to his spokesman. By doing that, I knew at least that he was aware that we were moving down this path. All of those things were done very quickly, but there is probably no parliament in the country that would be able to go through those procedures in less than 3 weeks. Mr Ede: That does not always make for better legislation. 10 206