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Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers and Offences) Bill 2012

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2010 - 2011 - 2012

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

CRIMES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(POWERS AND OFFENCES) BILL 2011

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General,

the Honourable Nicola Roxon MP)

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       

 



crimes legislation amendment (powers and Offences)

bill 2011

 

OUTLINE

The purpose of these amendments is to address Recommendation 2 of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs (the Committee) Advisory Report: Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers and Offences) Bill 2011 (Report) by applying further safeguards to the ability of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) CEO to share information with the private sector.



FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

These Government amendments have no financial impact.

 

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

Amendment 1 introduces a further limitation on the ability of the ACC CEO to share information with private sector bodies by prohibiting the sharing of information which would prejudice the safety of a person, or the fair trial of a person who has been charged with an offence.

 

The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers and Offences) Bill 2011 (the Bill) will introduce a new section 59AB of the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (ACC Act), which will allow the ACC CEO to share information with private sector bodies where certain conditions are met.  Proposed paragraph 59AB ( 1 )( e ) prohibits the sharing of information where it is otherwise contrary to the law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.  Amendment 1 adds a new subparagraph to this paragraph which ensures that information can only be shared if it would not prejudice the safety of a person, or the fair trial of a person who has been charged with an offence.

 

This amendment, in conjunction with amendment 2, responds to Recommendation 2 of Committee’s Report.  The Committee recommended that safeguards be introduced to section 59AB that contained similar protections and wording as contained in subsection 25A(9) of the ACC Act.

Subsection 25A(9) of the ACC Act allows an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) Examiner to make a direction restricting the publication of information obtained at an ACC examination.  An Examiner is required to make such a direction where a failure to do so might prejudice the safety or reputation of a person or prejudice the fair trial of a person who has been, or may be, charged with an offence.

 

Amendment 1 seeks to apply the protections for safety and fair trial contained in subsection 25A(9) to section 59AB.  Protections to a person’s reputation are addressed by amendment 2.

These new safeguards will operate in addition to requirements of subsection 25A(9) (and other safeguards in proposed section 59AB).  Where a direction has been made by an ACC Examiner under subsection 25A(9), the ACC CEO will be unable to share that information under section 59AB.

 

Amendment 2 will introduce a new paragraph 59AB(4)(c) which will require the CEO, when sharing ‘personal information’ (within the meaning of the Privacy Act 1988) with the private sector,



to impose one or more conditions to ensure that the information is not used or disclosed in a way that might prejudice the reputation of a person.

 

This requirement will be in addition to the requirements in proposed paragraphs 59AB(4)(a) and (b) for the CEO to impose conditions on the sharing of personal information with bodies corporate relating to monitoring and controlling the information and preventing further disclosure of the information.

 

Non-compliance with conditions made under section 59AB will be a criminal offence.

 

This amendment, in conjunction with Amendment 1, responds to Recommendation 2 of the Committee’s Report .