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Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2011

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2010 - 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

CRIMES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (No. 2) 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDENDUM TO THE

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Justice,

the Honourable Brendan O’Connor, MP)

 



 

PURPOSE, Proceeds of crime amendments (p 2)

 

Before paragraph 1, insert a new paragraph:

 

Existing institutional arrangements for confiscating criminal assets have been successful.  With the exception of the 2008-09 financial year, the level of confiscation recoveries has increased every year since the introduction of non-conviction based confiscation provisions in the POCA.  However, recent developments in the areas of organised crime and proceeds of crime, including the introduction of unexplained wealth proceedings, present an opportunity to revisit these arrangements to increase their effectiveness into the future.

 

After paragraph 1, insert a new paragraph:

 

The Taskforce commenced operation in January 2011 and is designed to take a more proactive, intelligence-led approach to the identification of potential criminal asset confiscation matters by bringing together intelligence, operations, legal and other specialist resources.  The AFP, Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Crime Commission are participating agencies in the Taskforce.  The DPP will continue to work closely with the Taskforce in a liaison role.  A multi-agency taskforce represents a more streamlined, efficient, coordinated and integrated methodology, with significant operational and administrative benefits, including effective collaboration in the coordinated use of resources, and the streamlining of issues between investigative and litigation resources.

 

SCHEDULE 2 - Proceeds of crime amendments (p 9)

 

After paragraph 3, insert a new paragraph:

 

Various scrutiny and accountability mechanisms will ensure the integrity of the AFP’s proceeds of crime function.  The Commissioner will only be able to delegate his or her powers to senior executive AFP employees, which will ensure that relevant decisions are only made by staff with the appropriate level of seniority and expertise.  The commencement and conduct of proceeds of crime matters will be undertaken by suitably qualified and experienced lawyers within the Taskforce.  These lawyers will:

  • hold independent practising certificates, which require them to abide by the professional conduct and practice rules under relevant State or Territory legislation
  • have a professional and ethical duty as officers of the court
  • be subject to the AFP Legal Charter of Independence and Ethical Responsibilities and other internal policies similar to those currently used by the DPP
  • be bound by the Legal Services Directions 2005 , and
  • seek external advice on high-value or contentious matters.

Within the Taskforce, there will be a separation of responsibilities ensuring that the legal arm of the Taskforce provides advice that is independent of the operational arm of the Taskforce.  Additionally, decisions to commence proceeds of crime matters will also be subject to the scrutiny of the Ombudsman, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI), and the courts.  The AFP, including the Taskforce, will also be accountable to Parliament through the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement and through the Senate Estimates process.