For the small numbers of our readers who make a habit of punching on with the cops Simon Corbell has the sad news that a common law loophole is being removed.
The ACT Labor Government will today propose changes to the law on self-defence involving assaults on police officers and improve sentencing considerations for offences against police officers, emergency service workers, care and protection workers, nurses and other officials providing a service to the public, Attorney General, Simon Corbell, announced.
“This bill overrides the common law, which currently allows people to claim self defence when they assault police in the course of an arrest or while under police restraint,” he said.
“This bill means that a defendant would not be able to claim self defence if they assault police where the arrest or restraint by police is lawful or the police have acted in good faith and used reasonable force.
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“We currently have the unfortunate situation where a person can argue that they believe their arrest is unlawful to justify the use of violence against police. This is simply not acceptable.
If a person believes they have been arrested unlawfully, the issue can be quickly and properly remedied when the person is brought before a magistrate. This would ordinarily happen within hours. Further people unlawfully arrested may lodge a civil claim for damages or complain to bodies such as the Ombudsman.
Self defence will still be available to a defendant if they responded with violence to protect themselves against some other unlawful act by police, such as an assault or imminent assault by police.