: Self-defence and police restraint

Self-defence and police restraint

Simon Rice

The ACT Attorney-General, Simon Corbell MLA, has referred to the Law Reform Advisory Council a Bill which would limit people’s ability to rely on self-defence when accused of assaulting police.

The Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 says that a plea of self-defence may not be relied on by a person who resists what they believe was unlawful imprisonment, if that perceived unlawful imprisonment was due to restraint imposed by a police officer. Examples of ‘restraint’ in the Bill are detention for breath analysis, and a direction to remain at a place while roadside drug screening test is carried out.

The Bill, which is at the same time subject to scrutiny by the ACT Legislative assembly’s Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, appears to raise issues such as a person’s rights in responding to the exercise of police powers, and how best to address the question of assaults on police.

SIMON RICE teaches law at the ANU and chairs the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council.

(2012) 37(2) AltLJ 135
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