Speak now or forever hold your peace.
When a Policeman comes looking to speak to you, with the changing laws on right to silence, you won’t be able to use your right. Because you’ll be told that you have to speak now or, if you do later, a jury might think you were making it up.
This is an outrage. With all their powers, all their resources, are we seriously accepting the notion that the NSW Police are so daft in their ability that they can’t investigate and fight crime unless the government does everything it can to MAKE people speak to them?
But the Government dress it up so that it looks like you can still refuse to speak if you wish. But if you do so, you now risk penalty, a prejudice. That is, your right to silence can only be exercised under pain of being subject to adverse directions from a judge or conclusions by a jury.
That isn’t a full nor free exercise of a right. It’s cowardly coercive action by Police, adopted into legislation by a Parliament who appears (by this act at least) to enact more laws confining rights than confirming them.