CRIMES ACT 1914

Part ID - Forensic procedures  

Simplified outline of operation of Part

This Part provides for forensic procedures to be carried out on:

  • · suspects in relation to indictable offences (Divisions 3 , 4 and 5 ); and
  • · offenders in relation to prescribed and serious offences (Division 6A ); and
  • · volunteers (Division 6B ).
  • If the carrying out of a forensic procedure is authorised under this Part, it must be carried out in accordance with rules and procedures set out in Division 6 .

    If a forensic procedure covered by this Part is carried out without proper authority under this Part, evidence obtained through the procedure may be inadmissible in proceedings against the suspect (Division 7 ).

    However, certain rules are modified or do not apply if the forensic procedure is carried out in response to a request by a foreign country or an international tribunal, or a request by a foreign law enforcement agency (Division 9A ).

    This Part also:

  • · contains offences in relation to the Commonwealth DNA database system and the National Criminal Investigation DNA Database ( NCIDD ) (Division 8A ); and
  • · provides for the whole or a part of the Commonwealth DNA database system to be integrated with the whole or a part of one ore more State/Territory DNA database systems to form part of NCIDD (Division 8A ); and
  • · provides for the exchange of information in the Commonwealth DNA database system or a State/Territory DNA database system and the protection of the information that is exchanged (Division 11 ); and
  • · provides for the destruction of forensic material (Division 8 ).
  • Division 3 - Forensic procedures on suspect by consent  

    SECTION 23WG   Informed consent to forensic procedures - Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders  

    (1)  
    This section applies where:


    (a) a constable intends to ask a suspect to consent to a forensic procedure; and


    (b) the constable believes on reasonable grounds that the suspect is an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander.

    (2)  
    A suspect not covered by section 23WE gives informed consent to a forensic procedure if the suspect consents after a constable:


    (a) asks the suspect to consent to the forensic procedure under section 23WH ; and


    (b) informs the suspect, in accordance with the regulations and section 23WJ , of the matters mentioned in that section; and


    (c) complies with the rest of this section.

    (3)  
    The constable must not ask the suspect to consent to the forensic procedure unless:


    (a) an interview friend is present; or


    (b) the suspect has expressly and voluntarily waived his or her right to have an interview friend present; or


    (c) the constable is a senior police officer and he or she believes on reasonable grounds that, having regard to the suspect's level of education and understanding, the suspect is not at a disadvantage in relation to the request to consent by comparison with members of the Australian community generally.

    Note:

    Section 23YK relates to proving a waiver under paragraph (3)(b) of this section.

    (4)  
    Before asking the suspect to consent to a forensic procedure, the constable must:


    (a) inform the suspect that a representative of an Aboriginal legal assistance organisation will be notified that the suspect is to be asked to consent to a forensic procedure; and


    (b) notify such a representative that the suspect is to be asked to consent to a forensic procedure.

    (5)  
    The constable is not required to comply with subsection (4) if:


    (a) he or she is aware that the suspect has arranged for a legal practitioner to be present while the suspect is asked to consent to the forensic procedure; or


    (b) paragraph (3)(b) or (c) applies.

    (6)  
    After asking a suspect covered by paragraph (3)(b) or (c) to consent to a forensic procedure, the constable must give the suspect a reasonable opportunity to communicate, or attempt to communicate, with a legal practitioner of the suspect's choice and, subject to subsection (8), to do so in private.

    (7)  
    After asking a suspect not covered by paragraph (3)(b) or (c) to consent to a forensic procedure, the constable must allow the suspect to communicate with the interview friend (if any), and with the suspect's legal representative (if any), and, subject to subsection (8), to do so in private.

    (8)  
    If a suspect covered by subsection (6) or (7) is in custody, the constable need not allow the suspect to communicate, or attempt to communicate, with a legal practitioner, or the suspect's interview friend or legal representative, in private if the constable suspects on reasonable grounds that the suspect might attempt to destroy or contaminate any evidence that might be obtained by carrying out the forensic procedure.

    (9)  
    An interview friend (other than a legal representative) of the suspect may be excluded from the presence of the constable and the suspect if the interview friend unreasonably interferes with or obstructs the constable in asking the suspect to consent to the forensic procedure, or in informing the suspect as required by section 23WJ .




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