Category: Your Rights

Police interview

Police Power to Force the Disclosure of Identity


As a general rule, criminal defence lawyers will advise clients not to answer police questions. There are several reasons for this, one of which is that those who participate in police interviews will often inadvertently say things that lead to further suspicion, even if they are completely innocent. Under the pressure of an interview at …
Police

Police Want Further Dilution of Right to Silence


A little over two years ago, NSW Police were pushing then-Premier Barry O’Farrell to remove the right to silence for those accused of serious criminal offences. Back then, police argued that legal reform was desperately needed to address situations where an accused person chose to remain silent in the face of police questioning about their …
ATM keypad

Police to Access Bank Records Without A Warrant


The NSW Police Force announced last week that it will be seeking broad new powers to access bank data without a warrant, provided that police claim to suspect that a person is engaging in criminal conduct. If the laws are passed, they will join a raft of communications and travel data which police can now …
Police sign

Rights Abused While in Police Custody


The safety and wellbeing of people being held in police custody is again in the spotlight with shocking allegations emerging that a woman was held for 16 hours at Ballarat police station in regional Victoria, and not provided with any water to drink. According to court documents, she eventually became so desperately thirsty that she …
Broken iPhone

What Happens If Police Damage My Property?


Recent changes to the law mean that police are getting more and more power. But fortunately, they cannot barge down your front door and come into your home without a legitimate reason. Police must have a legitimate reason come into your house, which means that one of the following circumstances must exist: You gave permission; …
Protesters and a no sign

The Right to Protest: A Thing of the Past


Protesting has long been a way for people to publicly express their views and demonstrate their grievances. It has achieved a great deal since the late 1800s; from workers rights to female suffrage, and from civil rights to environmental protections. But around Australia, legislators are constantly looking for ways to suppress this important form of …
Metadata screen

Will meta-data laws catch criminals, or turn civilians into suspects?


Last week, the Federal government’s controversial meta-data laws passed the Senate. The laws require internet and phone service providers (ISPs) to store your meta-data for a period of two years, and to hand that information over to a raft of government agencies without them even having to obtain a warrant. Many groups have voiced their …
Arrested man

Are Police Misusing their Power to Arrest?


One of our previous blogs discussed the case of a Sydney criminal lawyer who successfully sued the NSW police service after being wrongfully arrested on a train. There have been several other cases of wrongful arrest in NSW in recent years, raising concerns that certain police officers are misusing their powers of arrest. One case …
Citizen arrest

Should Citizens have the Right to Arrest? Citizen’s Arrest Goes Wrong


Every Australian citizen has the right to make a citizen’s arrest if they witness a crime taking place, but along with that right comes certain responsibilities. Police have strict guidelines governing the use of force when making arrests, but the rules that apply to citizens are different. Recently, a coroner in Queensland ruled that six …
Metadata screen

Nothing to Hide but Everything to Fear – Part 2 of our Special Series on the New Metadata Laws


Yesterday, we published part 1 of our two-part blog series about the Federal Government’s proposed meta-data retention laws which are now very close to being passed. The laws have been championed by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis as a key tool in the fight against terrorism, white-collar crime and child pornography. But are they really necessary, …