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Stronger anti-corruption arrangements



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j/Sr news RELEASE - ATTORNEY-GENERAL -AND M IN IS T E R F O R JU S T IC E

Th e H o n . D aryl W illiams a m qc mp

14 M a y 1997

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S T R O N G E R A N T I-C O R R U P T IO N A R R A N G E M E N T S

N ew am endm ents to C om m onw ealth laws w ill greatly strengthen the ability o f A ustralian law enforcem ent agencies to com bat police corruption.

The am endm ents introduced into the Federal P arliam ent today w ill provide the basis for the N SW Police Integrity C om m ission (PIC), w hich is continuing the w ork o f the W ood R oyal C om m ission, to intercept telephone conversations for the purposes of investigating police m isconduct.

Further am endm ents w ill allow C om m onw ealth law enforcem ent agencies to pass inform ation obtained from listening devices directly to the PIC rather than through the N SW Police Service.

T hese changes reflect the transfer o f responsibilities for investigating police m isconduct to the PIC from the N SW Police Service and the Independent C om m ission A gainst C orruption, and w ill be subject to the strict controls w hich currently apply under C om m onw ealth law.

T he legislation w ill also enable A ustralian Police C om m issioners to use intercepted inform ation in deciding w hether officers accused o f m isconduct should be dism issed from a police service.

T he F ederal G overnm ent is strongly com m itted to helping the States and Territories eradicate police m isconduct. N othing m ore insidiously frays public confidence in our legal institutions than corruption am ong those adm inistering the justice system.

T he legislation w ill introduce new arrangem ents for the issue of w arrants for telephone intercepts and listening devices. T his step is necessary to address concerns expressed by Federal C ourt judges that their role in issuing w arrants m ay interfere w ith the perform ance of their judicial duties.

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

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In order to ensure that this critical function continues to be perform ed by persons w ith the necessary independence and experience, the legislation w ill allow a properly qualified panel o f m em bers from the A dm inistrative A ppeals Tribunal to issue such w arrants.

To im prove police effectiveness on a broad front, the am endm ents w ill allow also the A ustralian B ureau o f C rim inal Intelligence (A BCI), as w ell as the PIC, to access the A U ST R A C data base.

Media contacts: N icholas H arford (A ttorney-G eneral's O ffice)(06) 277 7300 Jack W oodforde (A ttorney-G eneral's D ept)(06) 250 6512