INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Referral of the inquiry
On 29 May 2013, the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Law Enforcement
Integrity, Vulnerable Witness Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2013
(Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives by the
Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP (Attorney-General).
The Bill was passed by the House of Representatives on 17 June 2013,
and introduced into the Senate on 19 June 2013.
On 18 June 2013 the Senate referred the provisions of the Bill to the
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee (committee), for inquiry
and report by 20 August 2013.
In order to assist the parliament's timely consideration of the Bill, the
committee decided to present its report for the inquiry on 25 June 2013.
Purpose of the Bill
In his second reading speech, the Attorney-General stated that the Bill 'includes
a range of measures which strengthen existing laws and ensure that the criminal
law in this country is responsive to emerging threats'.
The Attorney-General explained that, in particular, the proposed amendments
would strengthen Commonwealth criminal law 'in combating corruption and
protecting the vulnerable victims of serious Commonwealth offences'.
Overview of the Bill
The Bill comprises six schedules, which would make amendments to various
Schedule 1 contains amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and
Counter‑Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML-CTF Act) and the Law
Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 to improve the Integrity
Commissioner's ability to access information held by the Australian Transaction
Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and to improve the ability of the
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) to second employees
of police forces who are not sworn police officers.
Schedule 2 contains amendments to the Crimes Act 1914 (Crimes
Act) and Criminal Code Act 1995 to ensure that victims and witnesses in
Commonwealth criminal proceedings for slavery, slavery-like and human
trafficking offences are afforded appropriate support and protection.
Schedule 3 contains amendments to the Crimes Act and the Migration Act 1958
(Migration Act) in relation to investigations and prosecutions of people smuggling
crew members, including to:
remove wrist x-rays as a prescribed age determination process;
- clarify that the prosecution bears the onus of proof in
establishing that a defendant is 18 years or older, in cases where age is in
- enable the use of evidentiary certificates in people smuggling
- ensure that time spent in immigration detention is taken into
consideration during sentencing for people smuggling offences.
Schedule 4 contains amendments to the AML-CTF Act to strengthen the
Commonwealth anti‑money laundering and counter-terrorism legislative
Schedule 5 contains amendments to the International War Crimes
Tribunal Act 1995 and the International Transfer of Prisoners Act 1997
in order to recognise the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal
Schedule 6 contains amendments to the Australian Federal Police Act
1979 in order to update the legislative framework for the provision of
policing and regulatory services in the external territories.
Conduct of the inquiry
Details of the inquiry, including links to the Bill and associated
documents, were placed on the committee's website at www.aph.gov.au/senate_legalcon.
The committee also wrote to over 90 organisations and individuals, inviting
submissions by 20 June 2013.
The committee received six submissions, which are listed at Appendix 1.
All submissions were published on the committee's website. No public hearings were
held for the inquiry. The committee thanks those organisations that made
submissions to the inquiry.
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