Australian Crime Commission amendment bill 2007

3 Oct 2007

The Australian Crime Commission (the ACC) (formerly the National Crime Authority but with enhanced intelligence functions) commenced operations on 1 January 2003. According to the latest Annual Report, the aim of the ACC is to 'reduce the incidence and impact of serious and organised criminal activity on the Australian community'

To achieve this aim, the ACC has a range of special coercive powers such as the capacity to compel attendance at examinations, production of documents and the answering of questions (similar to a Royal Commission). The ACC also has an intelligence-gathering capacity and a range of investigative powers common to law-enforcement agencies, such as the power to tap phones, use surveillance devices and participate in controlled operations.

The Australian Crime Commission Amendment Bill 2007 would amend the Australian Crime Commission Act 2002 to clarify that an ACC Examiner can record their reasons for issuing a summons or notice to produce documents before, at the same time as, or as soon as practicable after it has been issued. This is in response to a recent finding in the Victorian Supreme Court (ACC v. Brereton). The Bill also proposes to amend the legislation to allow one examiner to issue a summons and then another to question the person.

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