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Key developments

  • Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot Scheme Bill 2020
  • Standing Committee on Law and Justice – review into the CTP scheme 
  • Judicial resourcing
  • Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) review
  • Murray – Darling Basin water markets inquiry – interim report
  • Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
  • Police body-worn video
  • Event to celebrate the third anniversary of marriage equality in Australia 
  • Electronic conveyancing draft model requirements and rules 
  • Bystander training
  • Rural Issues Conference
  • NSW Home Building Compensation Fund – Draft Report
  • Review of icare and the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015
  • Draft End of Life Guideline

Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot Scheme Bill 2020

The Criminal Law Committee contributed to a submission to the Attorney General, Shadow Attorney General, and members of the cross bench, on the Drug Supply Prohibition Order Pilot Scheme Bill 2020 (‘Bill‘), which was introduced into Parliament on 22 October 2020. 

The Law Society was not consulted on the contents of the Bill.  

The Bill establishes a drug supply prohibition order (‘DSPO’) scheme, which will give police extraordinary new powers to search an individual and their home without a warrant. The subject of the DSPO is not entitled to be told about the application, be given access to it, make a submission, or know the reasons for the decision to make the order. DSPO applications are not required to be decided in a courtroom. We submitted that this is a denial of natural justice and will effectively prevent judicial review of a successful application. We opposed the minimum waiting period of six months to apply for revocation of the order. As drafted, the Bill permits a situation where a person must be subject to an order for six months even though the order may be ‘unreasonably onerous’ on the finding of the Magistrate upon challenge.

The Law Society did not support the Bill. We noted that the new search powers contained in the Bill add to a suite of expanding police powers in NSW that can be exercised without the oversight and safeguards of due criminal process. We made a number of suggestions for amendments to improve the operation of the Bill. The Bill was subsequently referred to the Legal Affairs Committee for inquiry and report, however the Committee was unable to hold a hearing or consider the Law Society’s submission in the time allocated to conduct the inquiry. The Bill passed Parliament on 18 November 2020 with minor amendments.

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