find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
Alarm for terrorism bill ‘rushed through’ NSW Parliament

Alarm for terrorism bill ‘rushed through’ NSW Parliament

Alarm for terrorism bill ‘rushed through’ NSW Parliament

Lawyers have flagged concern about a bill rushed through NSW Parliament this week to bolster police powers for officers acting in response to situations that are declared to be terrorist acts by the state police commissioner.

When lawyers learnt that a bill concerning police powers had been rushed through the NSW Parliament, two of the state’s leading legal representative bodies moved to flag concerns.

Commenting on the hurried passage of the Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Police Powers and Parole) Bill 2017 through Parliament, the presidents of the NSW Bar Association and NSW Law Society said that however meritorious the objective of any law reform may be, proper consultation was needed.

Barrister Arthur Moses SC and Pauline Wright released a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon which said: “Rushing an important bill through the Parliament in one day does not allow the Parliament or other parties to properly consider the bill.”

Among a number of changes contained in Wednesday’s bill, the amendment will see police officers, who are responding to a situation that is deemed by the commissioner to be a ‘terrorist act’, protected from criminal liability for the use of force. Mr Moses and Ms Wright said that lethal force was in included in this sanction.

“The NSW Bar Association and the Law Society of NSW support any legislative measures that enable the NSW Police to use lawful force to save the lives of people being detained by terrorists.

“However, we urge the government to allow proper consideration of the bill to ensure that it does not contain any unintended consequences and in fact meets the objectives it purports to be directed at achieving,” the joint statement said.

In a separate release published on the Law Society of NSW website, Ms Wright went further and expressed “grave concern” about how the amendment may significantly extend the reach of police powers.

She said this extension was unjustified and would have implications for decisions made by the State Parole Authority.

“Parliament should not make lethal force decisions without first being informed by the legal profession on the potential consequences. 

“We need proper and adequate time to consider these proposed reforms to ensure they do not carry any unintended consequences,” Ms Wright said.

She added that the amendments would also have an unprecedented effect on parole laws.

“Parole decisions can already be determined by the State Parole Authority based on various reasons, but the new laws introduce a higher threshold requiring the SPA to have regard to the individual’s associations or affiliation.

The reforms could also have an incongruous effect of releasing terrorism offenders back into the community without any supervision. These are the very kind of offenders who need supervision,” Ms Wright said.

The bill, declared “urgent” before coming before the NSW Legislative Council, is currently awaiting assent.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Alarm for terrorism bill ‘rushed through’ NSW Parliament
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...