police powers

  • More Tasers for Vic Police and PSOs very concerning

    16th Feb 2024

    The announcement this week that some ten thousand more frontline police and protective services officers (PSOs) in Victoria will be equipped with Tasers is very concerning, according to a coalition of Victorian legal and community services groups.

  • Proposed anti-bikie laws infringe too far on rights and freedoms

    16th Nov 2023

    Proposed new powers which will allow police to prevent convicted criminals from associating in Victoria go too far and will unfairly restrict individual’s rights to freedom of association and political expression.  

  • Review of the Counter-Terrorism and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth)

    10th Oct 2023
  • Cullen v State of New South Wales: A landmark case on duty of care at protest rallies

    29th Jun 2023

    Jeremy King and Sophia Baldi of Robinson Gill Lawyers explore the implications and outcomes of an incident that transpired during an ‘Invasion Day Rally’ in January 2017, during which police breached a duty of care to bystanders while making an arrest, resulting in significant harm to the plaintiff.

  • New NSW police powers are dangerously broad

    17th May 2022

    Extraordinary new powers given to NSW police which allow them to search an individual and their home without a warrant are too broad and lack appropriate oversight, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • Police found to have conducted unlawful stop and search

    4th Mar 2021

    Mark Warren discusses a case involving an unlawful stop and search conducted by NSW police and highlights the important powers under the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW), in particular exploring what constitutes ‘reasonable grounds’ to stop and search under the Act.

  • Enormous power of police must be kept in check

    20th Jan 2021

    Police wield enormous power. It is absolutely critical that this power is checked and where it is abused, that the police officers are held to account. Jeremy King discusses the implications of the inquiry into the external oversight of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria, which acknowledged the significant failings of Victoria’s police complaints system and recommended the strengthening of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).

  • Concerns re risk of heavy-handed policing in Melbourne hot spots

    1st Jul 2020

    Extraordinary police measures being used to enforce lock downs in Melbourne virus hot spots must be measured and be culturally appropriate.

  • Don Dale ruling a strong message against use of force on children

    11th Jun 2020

    Greg Barns discusses the High Court’s decision, on 3 June, that the use of tear gas on four youths at the NT’s Don Dale detention centre was unlawful. He explores the implications of this decision, suggesting that it illustrates the need for discussion about changing the culture of dealing with young people who intersect with the criminal justice system.

  • Moratorium on minor offences needed to help keep community safe

    3rd Apr 2020

    A moratorium on the prosecution of low-level street and drug offences should be implemented immediately so that police can focus on assisting the community to keep well and safe, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • Legal and welfare checks should be extended to save Aboriginal lives in custody

    12th Sep 2019

    Professor Thalia Anthony argues that to prevent deaths in custody, a custody notification service must be properly funded and available to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody, including those who are detained in protective custody or following a paperless arrest.  

  • Suburb lockdown: unprecedented abuse of power

    2nd Jul 2019

    Suburb lockdowns are plainly an extraordinary abuse of power and there does not appear to be any precedent for this type of police operation in any other state or territory in Australia, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

  • A free press and freedom of speech are fragile rights

    13th Jun 2019

    Greg Barns reflects on last week's police raids of the homes and workplaces of journalists and what this could mean for freedom of speech and freedom of the media.

  • Why your non-dental cavities may be of interest to the authorities

    27th Sep 2018

    In the event that new legislation permitting searches for internally concealed drugs is passed in NSW, criminal lawyers and their clients will have to adjust to a changing legal landscape very quickly.

  • Police accountability in Australia: Complaint mechanisms

    12th Apr 2018

    What are the current police complaint mechanisms around Australia? And is Australia complying with its international obligation to ensure that perpetrators of human rights violations, and specifically those perpetrated by police authorities, are adequately held to account through an independent, effective and impartial investigation into their conduct?

  • ‘Minority Report’ laws could mean jail before you break the law

    24th Jan 2018

    People could be jailed for crimes before they have had the chance to actually break the law under proposed Commonwealth national security reforms, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Draconian counter-terror laws must be repealed

    30th Oct 2017

    Draconian counter-terrorism powers such as warrantless searches and preventative detention orders do little to enhance security and serve only to further marginalise people, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Human rights protections must be part of national security review

    21st Jul 2017

    Federal government proposals to combine Australian security agencies into a single ‘national security super-agency’ must also include strengthened human rights protections for all people in Australia, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • ‘Paperless’ death in custody shows lack of police accountability

    28th May 2015

    The tragic death in police custody of a man arrested under controversial Northern Territory ‘paperless arrest’ legislation highlights the need for authorities to be held accountable for people held in detention, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Data retention Bill is a recipe for privacy abuse

    30th Oct 2014

    Australians will have no protection against security agencies misusing their personal or private information under proposed legislation governing a mandatory data retention scheme, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Anti-terror laws threaten separation of powers

    13th Oct 2014

    Key clauses in the Commonwealth’s proposed new Foreign Fighters anti-terror legislation could be unconstitutional as they undermine the separation of powers, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Foreign Fighters Bill will lead to innocent people being detained

    25th Sep 2014

    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill lowers the threshold for the arrest of individuals on alleged terrorism offences and will lead to innocent people being arrested and detained, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Terror threat to Australia’s legal system

    24th Sep 2014

    Australia is already losing the ‘war on terror’ if it starts abandoning principles as fundamentally important as the rule of law and the presumption of innocence, the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today.

  • Govt’s anti-terror law promises will not stop abuse of power

    24th Sep 2014

    Promises by the Federal Government not to abuse proposed anti-terror legislation are not enough to protect the rights of Australians, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Good result for Horvath but more needed to secure justice

    23rd Sep 2014

    An apology and ex-gratia payment to police assault victim Corinna Horvath is a welcome development but much more needs to be done by the Victorian Government to prevent similar situations happening again, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Journalists will face jail over spy leaks under new security laws

    17th Jul 2014

    Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Greg Barns has been quoted in today’s Guardian about the proposed strengthening of national security laws against whistleblowers, saying the “troubling” legislation could be used to prosecute and jail journalists who reported on information they received about special intelligence operations.

  • UN condemns inadequate response to police violence

    3rd Jul 2014

    A powerful condemnation of the inadequacy of Victoria’s laws to compensate victims of police violence has been delivered by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

    Hovarth v Australia marks a new opportunity for the Australian and Victorian governments to ensure our laws conform with international human rights obligations, writes Sophie Ellis, solicitor at Flemington and Kensington Legal Centre. 

  • Doubt cast over Vic Gov plan to outlaw bikie gangs

    21st Nov 2012

    Australian Lawyers Alliance member John Suta, who acts on behalf of nine members of the Wangaratta-based Tramps Motorcycle Club, today expressed serious doubts as to whether the proposed Victorian government legislation, to outlaw bikie gangs, will be legally enforceable in the state.

  • ALA calls for immediate examination of taser use in NSW

    14th Nov 2012

    The NSW Government should immediately examine the extent of use by police of Taser guns following damming findings given today by Coroner, Mary Jerram, into the death of Brazilian student, Laudisio Curti.

  • NT Minister’s decision not to discipline officers a disgrace - ALA

    5th Oct 2012

    A lawyer representing the family of a man who died in a Northern Territory watchhouse, earlier this year, has labelled the Deputy Chief Minister’s announcement today, not to discipline the officers who contributed to his death, as shameful.

  • Charitable VIC motorcycle club members are having property confiscated

    26th Sep 2012

    Nine members of the Wangaratta-based Tramps Motorcycle Club have had their firearms, some of which are needed to work jobs and farming properties, confiscated by Victorian Police because of alleged prejudice and false assumption.

  • Proposed abolition of right to silence in NSW will allow police abuse

    19th Sep 2012

    The right of individuals to remain silent when being interrogated by police is a fundamental human right reflected in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in Canadian and US human rights laws and for New South Wales Attorney-General Greg Smith to give the community only 10 days to comment on his proposal to dismantle that right is appalling, said the Australian Lawyers Alliance today.

  • 'Right to silence' crucial for democracy in NSW - ALA

    15th Aug 2012

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance is expressing disbelief that the O’Farrell Government would strike at the heart of democratic principles with an attack on every NSW citizen’s right to silence by amending such a law.

  • NT immigration detention taskforce may cause more harm than good - ALA

    24th Jul 2012

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance is expressing concern, today, that a new Commonwealth-funded police taskforce, being installed to manage violence in the Northern Territory, may create more harm than good.

  • Harming a pregnant woman less serious than a policeman - ACT law

    5th Apr 2012

    Under proposed ACT law it will be considered far more serious to harm a policeman than a pregnant woman, The Australian Lawyers Alliance is warning.

  • ALA calls for National Judicial Inquiry into police weapon use

    19th Mar 2012

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance is calling for a National Judicial Inquiry into the use of Tasers, capsicum spray and other potentially lethal police weapons, following the death of a man in Sydney, yesterday.