New legislation before the Queensland Parliament designed to improve the disciplinary system for the state’s police will provide more confidence for the public and certainty for police officers, says leading legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers.
Creevey Russell Principal Dan Creevey said The Police Service Administration (Discipline Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 will, if passed, have a significant impact on how internal police disciplinary matters are handled.
The police complaints system in Queensland has remained largely unchanged since 1990. If passed by the Parliament, the new legislation will streamline police disciplinary investigations, delivering faster and more consistent outcomes, while also enhancing oversight by the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Mr Creevey said the proposed changes, which include limitation periods on when disciplinary proceedings must be commenced, are a welcome addition.
“Our firm does a significant amount of disciplinary work,” he said.
“In the event this Bill becomes law, members of the police force who are faced with disciplinary action will be given a degree of certainty as to when matters will at least be commenced, rather than have the threat of action hanging over their head for an indefinite period of time.
“The changes will help ensure the public has confidence in knowing police officers who are found to be behaving poorly are disciplined accordingly, but also give the public confidence in knowing police officers who are found to have done nothing wrong are back protecting the community without extensive delay.”
The Bill proposes to repeal the Police Service (Discipline) Regulations 1990, as well as amend other important legislation pertaining to the Queensland Police Service, including the Crime and Corruption Act 2001, and the Police Service Administration Act 1990.
Mr Creevey said it was good to see the law adapting to meet societal changes.
“Society is constantly changing, and it is important that the law is also being amended and updated to reflect society’s views and expectations, while also helping to ensure those suspected of any wrongdoing are afforded fair processes and a right to reply in a timely manner,” he said. “The bill helps to achieve this.”
Dan Creevey (07) 4617 8777