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
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Department of the Legislative Assembly
Inquiry into the Firearms Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 26 NTPOL also note the provisions under Part VIIA Division 3 of the Police Administration Act 1978. An aggrieved person could potentially commence an action if the conduct reached the threshold of a tort claim against police.33 Committees Comments 3.42 The Committee is satisfied with NTPOLs advice regarding the Law Societys proposal for an avenue of appeal to the court and does not consider a recommendation to be warranted. Clause 6 proposed sections 49V Search of an associate without warrant or consent and 49X - Search of person at premises, vehicles, aircraft or vessels without warrant or consent 3.43 Proposed s 49V applies to the associates of a person with an FPO while proposed s 49X applies to any person who is present at a premises, or in a vehicle, aircraft or vessel being searched under proposed s 49W. These proposed sections provide Police with similar powers to those in proposed s 49U, however, the threshold for using the powers is higher; instead of the search being reasonably required the police must have reasonable grounds to believe that the associate or person is committing or about to commit an offence against the Act. In contrast to proposed s 49U, an associate cannot be strip searched. 3.44 The Law Society considers these sections to be a dangerous expansion of police powers as it expands the power to search to people who may be innocently associating with someone the subject of a firearm order.34 They note the importance of balancing the powers provided to police to ensure they are not encroaching on the rights of people who are not subject to the orders contemplated by the Bill.35 Committees Comments 3.45 The Committee notes that while the powers are substantial the threshold for using them is higher than for a person who is the subject of an FPO. Consequently, the Committee is of the view that the powers are warranted, noting also that the review required in proposed s 49ZB will provide a means of assessing whether these powers are being used appropriately. Clause 6 proposed section 49W - Search of premises, vehicles, aircraft or vessels without warrant or consent 3.46 Proposed section 49W provides for a police officer to search premises, vehicles, aircraft or vessels to determine whether a person with an FPO has acquired, possesses or is using a firearm or firearm related item in contravention of the order. However, as noted by the Committees legal counsel: 33 Northern Territory Police Force, Responses to Written Questions, p. 9, https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP 34 Submission 3 Law Society, p. 1 35 Submission 3 Law Society, p. 2 https://parliament.nt.gov.au/committees/EPSC/106-2019#TP
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