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Wednesday, 29 May 1996
Page: 1341

Senator SPINDLER(5.19 p.m.) —I would just like to address briefly the intervention made by Senator Cooney. It seems to me that although the words are different—and I would appreciate Senator Cooney's opinion on that—in substance, there is very little difference. I wonder whether, in substance, there is a great deal of weight to be attached to the difference between saying that a judge must have reasonable grounds for suspecting and saying that the judge must be satisfied that the person targeted is likely to commit an offence—which is in the future.

The other point to be made about that is: would we be agreeable to the proposition that a police officer should be allowed to engage in unlawful conduct unless there was some impartial judgment made on whether or not the targeted person is likely to commit an offence? If that is not a prospect, and if it is not done on objective grounds, why should we allow the police to engage in unlawful conduct?

The problem that I had with these provisions was that we were asking law enforcement officers to make that judgment, to arrive at that conclusion. The whole bill is fraught with this particular difficulty—that we are asking the police to engage in unlawful conduct. On balance, I remain of the view that I would like to be satisfied that there is an objective judgment being brought to bear rather than the opinion formed by law enforcement officers.