Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 1993

Other title

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





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 1993 I am not going to rehearse those arguments. The Attorney-General knows those arguments full well, and he knows the comments of Judge Nader, an eminent practitioner in the criminal jurisdiction who has been highly critical of the Criminal Code. I would be very interested to know what he thinks of this proposal. The opposition spokesman for police, the Leader of the Opposition, has pointed out one of the difficulties that we perceive with this bill and has given the background for the amendment schedule that I have circulated. In his second-reading speech, the Attorney-General simply failed to place this issue in the context of the very case he referred to. He failed to place it in the context of the civil and criminal issues that are involved. I was pleased that he read out my letter to him. I believe that honourable members listening to it would have appreciated its measured tone. That is the extent to which we believe that the issue needs to be addressed. Basically, we believe that it should not be addressed in the way the Criminal Code was addressed and simply rushed through. Mr Manzie: The Criminal Code was rushed through? It took years. Mr BELL: It went through several drafts. However, for something that codifies the entire criminal law, it was rushed through. I am not going to rehearse the argument. I have established that. Anybody who practices in the criminal jurisdiction believes that Mr Manzie: Tell us in a simple way why you think Territorians should not have the same powers as other Australians. Mr BELL: To pick up the interjection from the Attorney-General, he said that I do not want Territorians to have the same protections as other Australians. Mr Manzie: No. I asked you to tell us why you do not want Territorians to have the same powers as other Australians. Mr BELL: The fact is that he has misled the Assembly as far as current citizens' powers are concerned. I have referred him to the section 27 power under the Criminal Code that citizens have already to protect life and property. He failed to mention that in his second-reading speech. Mr Manzie: Because it is not relevant to what we are talking about. Mr BELL: He failed to mention in his second-reading speech the relationship between the civil and criminal issues that I tried to draw to his attention in that letter. He has treated my representations with contempt. For the sake of cheap politics, he is prepared to prejudice an important issue that should be dealt with in a measured fashion. My understanding is that the provisions differ from state to state. None of this was mentioned in the second-reading speech. The Attorney-General would not have a clue about any of them. When I ask him about them in the committee stage, I hope he will be well briefed. I hope he will know what the provisions are in the states. He has said that he wants the people of the Territory to have the same powers that Australians elsewhere have. The right to make a.citizen's arrest is generally limited to crimes for which arrest can take place without a warrant - that is, serious crimes such as murder, assault, robbery, rape, theft or burglary. In Western Australia, 10 214