LEGAL STUDIES: The Legal System
Describe the legal powers of enforcement agencies: police, government departments or other authorities. Assess how effectively the legal system balances the rights of law enforcement agencies and the rights of individuals and society.
Police are given their powers by the parliament under the Law Enforcement Powers and Responsibilities act (LEPRA). This act was passed in 2002 although it didn’t commence until 2005. There have been a few amendments since. The powers given to police officers and other law enforcement agencies are put in place to protect individuals and society as a whole from issues placed by other individuals. LEPRA gives Police the powers and the right to stop, search, arrest and detain people if they are believed under reasonable suspicion to be a suspect in a crime or an offence or are seen as a danger to society and need to be removed from a certain area. Police have the power to declare a crime scene and to search and take possession of certain things if they believe it is evidence of a certain crime or situation. Law enforcement agencies include the police department, Australian crime commission, Crime stoppers, National institute of forensic science and many more. The main department that deal with the people are the police officers who deal with citizens on a day to day basis.
All police have certain powers, however, sergeants and those of higher authority are given extra powers in certain circumstances. For example, with licensing, they have the power to close pubs, they can declare exclusion zones in the case of terrorism, with emergency management, they can direct police and other agencies to do certain things and they can also take on the role of custody manager. This does not, however, give them more power over arresting, detaining, stopping or searching citizens.
LEPRA gives the police powers of entry meaning that a police officer can enter a premises if the officer believes on reasonable grounds that a breach of peace is being committed and it is necessary to enter the premises immediately to end or prevent breach of peace, if a person have suffered a significant injury or if there is imminent danger of significant physical injury to a person. A police officer should remain on the premises for only as long as is reasonably necessary in the circumstances.
Police have the powers to issue an arrest and warrant. An officer is allowed to enter and stay for a reasonable time on premises to arrest or detain a person under an act or a person named in the warrant. A police officer may only enter the premises if they believe on reasonable grounds that the person to be arrested or detained is on the premises. It does not give a police officer the power to enter and arrest or detain a person if the police officer has not complied with any requirements imposed on them under that act for entry to premises for that purpose.
A police officer may request a person whose identity is...