Economic Policy Scrutiny Committee Inquiry into the Firearms Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 November 2019
Tabled paper 1423
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Tony Sievers
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Department of the Legislative Assembly
Inquiry into the Firearms Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 20 3.20 The Law Society NT also commented on the absence of a definition for public interest, noting that interpretations of public interest can be contentious, as demonstrated in a recent court case in Victoria where Judge Hampel found an FPO was not issued lawfully as it was not in the public interest to issue a FPO to the applicant. 18 The subject of the FPO had a significant criminal record and was a past President and life member of the Rebels motorcycle club. 3.21 The question of whether the public interest should be defined in legislation has been considered by both the Law Institute of Victoria and the ALRC. Both have argued against a definition due to the breadth of the concept and the need for the decision maker to be able to respond to the facts and circumstances of every case.19 The ALRC Discussion Paper 80, Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era, suggested that although public interest should not be defined, it may be useful for legislation to include a non-exhaustive list of public interest matters to provide the parties and the court with useful guidance, making the cause of action more certain and predictable in scope and potentially reducing litigation.20 Committees Comments 3.22 The Committee acknowledges the concerns expressed by the Law Society NT but considers that the infringement on freedom of association in proposed s 49F(c) is justified given that the intention of the proposed section is to reduce risk to the public. It further notes the strong precedents for infringing on this right in relation to the prevention of criminal conduct. 3.23 The Committee is satisfied with the evidence indicating that a definition of the public interest is not warranted but notes that it may be useful to give some consideration in the future to the merits of providing guidance within the legislation regarding the types of matters relevant to this concept. Clause 6 proposed section 49J Service of order 3.24 This section provides that an FPO must be personally served by a police officer but does not clarify what is to happen if the person cannot be immediately found or takes steps to avoid service. Personal service is also required in NSW and Victoria. 3.25 The Committee sought clarification from NTPOL regarding how service of an FPO is managed if personal service is not possible and was advised that: There are no specific procedures for police to follow to serve a firearm prohibition order on a person who is actively avoiding police. The purpose of a firearms 18 Submission 3 Law Society NT, p. 2; Legislative Council, Legal and Social Issues Committee, Victoria, Inquiry into Firearms Prohibition Legislation, 2 September 2019, pp. 17-18, https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/SCLSI/Firearms/transcripts/3.FP-FINALWALKER.pdf 19 Legislative Council, Legal and Social Issues Committee, Victoria, Inquiry into Firearms Prohibition Legislation, 2 September 2019, p. 17; ALRC, Discussion Paper, (DP 80), Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era, pp. 115-118, https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/serious-invasions-of-privacy-in-the-digital-eradp-80/. 20 ALRC, Discussion Paper 80, Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era, p. 115, https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/serious-invasions-of-privacy-in-the-digital-era-dp-80/. https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/SCLSI/Firearms/transcripts/3.FP-FINAL-WALKER.pdf https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/SCLSI/Firearms/transcripts/3.FP-FINAL-WALKER.pdf https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/serious-invasions-of-privacy-in-the-digital-era-dp-80/ https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/serious-invasions-of-privacy-in-the-digital-era-dp-80/ https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/serious-invasions-of-privacy-in-the-digital-era-dp-80/