Revised Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General, The Honourable Nicola Roxon MP)
This Bill amends the Crimes Act 1914 (Crimes Act), the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 (ACC Act), the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 (LEIC Act), the Privacy Act 1988 , the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 , the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Criminal Code), the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 , the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (DPP Act) and the Customs Act 1901 (Customs Act).
The Bill contains a range of important amendments to key Commonwealth law enforcement legislation that will provide further tools to assist in the effective investigation and enforcement of Commonwealth laws. The Bill also incorporates a range of additional safeguards applicable in those investigations.
The purpose of Schedule 1 is to implement recommendations from the DNA Forensic Procedures: Further Independent Review of Part 1D of the Crimes Act 1914 Review (the DNA Review), to increase transparency and reduce complexity contained in provisions governing the collection and use of DNA forensic material in Part 1D of the Crimes Act.
The purpose of Schedule 2 is to amend the ACC Act to improve how the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) can share and disclose information and material in its possession to combat serious and organised crime.
Schedule 3 also makes amendments to the ACC Act that introduce rules that are required to better govern the use, sharing and retention of things seized under the ACC Act.
The purpose of Schedule 4 is to amend the LEIC Act to enhance the ability of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) to investigate corruption. Other amendments to the LEIC Act will improve the operation of provisions relating to arrest warrants, search warrants, and notices to produce and summon, and provide consistency between non-disclosure regimes in the Privacy Act 1988 and the LEIC Act.
The purpose of Schedule 5 is to help combat the emergence and importation of illicit substances. Amendments to Part 9.1 of the Criminal Code will ensure substances and quantities that are temporarily prescribed in the Criminal Code Regulations 2002 will remain subject to Commonwealth serious drug offences in the longer term.
Amendments to the Customs Act will ensure the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service is provided with the legislative tools to enable it to consistently and efficiently undertake its role in seizing illicit substances unlawfully entering Australia.
Schedule 6 amends the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the DPP Act to allow a court to restrict publication of certain matters to prevent prejudice to the administration of justice and enable Australian Federal Police (AFP) employees and secondees to become 'authorised officers'.
The purpose of Schedule 7 is to amend Part 1B of the Crimes Act to implement recommendations arising out of the Australian Law Reform Commissions 2006 Report: Same Crime, Same Time: Sentencing of Federal Offenders . The amendments will ensure that all parole decisions are able to be made at the Attorney-General's discretion and that adequate parole, licence and supervision periods are applied to federal offenders as required.
Schedule 8 amends section 15A of the Crimes Act to enable State and Territory fine enforcement agencies to take non-judicial enforcement action to enforce Commonwealth fines without first obtaining a court order, and to make related amendments to the Crimes Act.
Schedule 9 amends the LEIC Act to extend the sum period for which the Integrity Commissioner is able to be appointed by two years, up to a total of seven years.
Financial impact statement
The amendments in this Bill have little or no financial impact on Government revenue.