Tough new laws following Martin Place Siege

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Late last week the New South Wales Government announced that it would be tightening laws surrounding bail and illegal firearms following the recommendations made by the Martin Place Siege Review.

Earlier this year in February, the Government announced that it had accepted all seventeen recommendations made by the Review. The rhetoric surrounding the announcement seems to be directed towards community safety, in the hope of avoiding another tragedy similar to that which occurred in December 2014.

In a media release published on Friday, the scope of the new laws was proposed as follows:

“Under the changes, bail will be refused (unless there are exceptional circumstances) where the accused is charged with an offence that carries a custodial sentence and:

  • is a person in relation to whom a terrorism control order has been made;
  • is on bail for, and/or has previously been convicted of, a Commonwealth terrorism offence, including being a foreign fighter; and/or
  • is on bail for, is currently charged with, and/or has previously been convicted of, being a member of a terrorist organisation under s310J of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

In addition, the following factors must now be taken into account as part of the ‘unacceptable risk’ test for bail:

  • an accused person’s links to terrorist organisations;
  • an accused person’s statements or actions advocating support for terrorist activities and/or violent extremism; and/or
  • an accused person’s association or affiliation with persons or groups who advocate support for terrorist activities and/or violent extremism.”

Further it is proposed that a new offence will be created for possession of a stolen firearm which carries a maximum penalty of fourteen years imprisonment.

Aside from the Review and recent announcement, the Inquest into the deaths arising from the Lindt Cafe siege remains ongoing, with findings expected to be delivered by the State Coroner in 2016. It is possible that we may see further changes following the publication of these findings.

For the full link: