Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers, Offences and Other Measures) Bill 2015; In Committee
As I indicated previously, the concept of 'knowingly concerned' was included previously in the Crimes Act but was not carried over to the Criminal Code when it was drafted in the 1990s. It has been made very clear by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions that the absence of 'knowingly concerned' has since become a significant impediment to the effective investigation and prosecution of individuals who have intentionally involved themselves in crime but who are disconnected from the physical aspects of an offence.
These issues are exacerbated because modern technology allows offenders to participate in crime in increasingly remote ways—for example, by engaging with co-offenders or by conducting offences on line. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has advised that 'knowingly concerned' would be particularly helpful in prosecuting serious and organised criminal activity.
The bill supports our law enforcement agencies by ensuring that people who knowingly support and enable crimes like the importation of illegal drugs, fraud and insider trading can be held responsible, despite the fact that they were not the person who was taking delivery of the drugs, handing over the money or forging the signature and thereby using the provisions to obtain lesser sentences.
The CHAIRMAN: The question is that schedule 5 stand as printed.