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12 March 1991 - Current

 
Summary Offences Amendment (Move-on Laws) Bill 2015
Page 174
11 February 2015
ASSEMBLY Statement of compatibility MARTIN PAKULA

Mr PAKULA (Attorney-General) tabled following statement in accordance with Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006:

In accordance with section 28 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the 'charter'), I make this statement of compatibility with respect to the Summary Offences Amendment (Move-on Laws) Bill 2015.

In my opinion, the Summary Offences Amendment (Move-on Laws) Bill 2015, as introduced to the Legislative Assembly, is compatible with human rights as set out in the charter. I base my opinion on the reasons outlined in this statement.

Overview

The Summary Offences Amendment (Move-on Laws) Bill 2015 (the bill) repeals the amendments to move-on powers made by the Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Act 2014. Specifically, the bill will repeal:

the amendments expanding move-on powers under section 6 of the Summary Offences Act 1966;

the specific arrest powers for contraventions of move-on directions under section 6A of the Summary Offences Act 1966;

the power under section 6B of the Summary Offences Act 1966 of police officers and PSOs to require a person to state their name and address where the officer intends to direct the person to move-on; and

Division 1B of part I of the Summary Offences Act 1966, which provides for the making of exclusion orders where a person has been repeatedly moved on from a particular place.

Human rights issues

The bill is compatible with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (the charter). The bill promotes the charter rights of freedom of movement (section 12), privacy (section 13), freedom of expression (section 15), peaceful assembly and freedom of association (section 16), and taking part in public life (section 18) by strengthening safeguards and easing some limitations. Those rights were limited by the changes to move-on powers made by the Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Act 2014.

The bill winds back the expansion of the grounds on which police and protective services officers (PSOs) may give move-on directions under section 6 of the Summary Offences Act 1966. Under the changes, the circumstances in which police officers and PSOs may direct a person to move on from a public place will be limited to where they suspect on reasonable grounds that:

the person is breaching, or likely to breach, the peace;

the person is endangering, or likely to endanger, the safety of any other person; or

the behaviour of the person is likely to cause injury to a person or damage to property or is otherwise a risk to public safety.

Restricting the use of move-on powers to these three circumstances will minimise the impact of move-on powers on the freedom of movement, the right to peaceful assembly and the freedom of association.

The bill also provides that, once again, move-on powers will not apply in relation to a person who is picketing a place of employment, demonstrating or protesting about a particular issue, or otherwise publicising their view about a particular issue. This amendment provides an appropriate safeguard to the freedom of expression, the right of peaceful assembly, the freedom of association and the right to take part in public life.

Privacy rights may also be strengthened by the repeal of section 6B of the Summary Offences Act 1966. That section gives police officers and PSOs the power to require a person to state their name and address where they intend to give the person a move-on direction.

Finally, the bill repeals division 1B of part I of the Summary Offences Act 1966 which provides for the making of exclusion orders where a person has been repeatedly moved on from a particular place. These exclusion orders limited the freedom of movement, the right to peaceful assembly and the freedom of association. Their repeal will, therefore, support those charter rights.

The amendments made by the bill provide a more appropriate balance between the use of move-on powers to maintain public order and safety, and the protection of the rights and freedoms of all Victorians recognised under the charter.

The Hon. Martin Pakula, MP
Attorney-General