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No more self defence when assaulting a police officer

By johnboy 8 December 2011 72

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.

“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.

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No more self defence when assaulting a police officer
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Tooks 2:47 pm 27 Dec 11

jcitizen said :

Tooks said :

jcitizen said :

Tooks said :

fgzk said :

“Cops can not arrest when they like. They can arrest when they are justified by law to do so.”

But if they do, its the Judge that will have to decide. So what happens after the judge has decided that it wasn’t a lawful arrest?
Will this law bring back an emphasis on police clearly identifying who they are?
Does it also apply to the “secret police”, you know the ones we can’t identify?

If it wasn’t a lawful arrest, then you’d probably be off the hook and have costs awarded.

What are secret police?

Good diagnosis Doctor Dog Breath.
“off the hook”. Yes , a corrupted “hook” that shouldnt have been sunk in the first place.Thats exactly what happened. Legal costs were awarded mate. But not life costs…

Must be terrible being a victim your whole life.

Not my whole life, just the period that seargent Baker was at the Belconnen Police Station.

You said you had paperwork to prove your claims, so where is it?

Special G 6:11 am 27 Dec 11

jcitizen – You are simply coming off as a one issue nutjob. Your argument is inconsistent and not well constructed. You have claimed proof which is unable to be verified (unless you take the letter to JB). Get off your own topic and back on this one.

Force is only used by Police if force is presented to them. It is not ok to assault someone. Simply really.

jcitizen 7:53 pm 26 Dec 11

Tooks said :

jcitizen said :

Tooks said :

fgzk said :

“Cops can not arrest when they like. They can arrest when they are justified by law to do so.”

But if they do, its the Judge that will have to decide. So what happens after the judge has decided that it wasn’t a lawful arrest?
Will this law bring back an emphasis on police clearly identifying who they are?
Does it also apply to the “secret police”, you know the ones we can’t identify?

If it wasn’t a lawful arrest, then you’d probably be off the hook and have costs awarded.

What are secret police?

Good diagnosis Doctor Dog Breath.
“off the hook”. Yes , a corrupted “hook” that shouldnt have been sunk in the first place.Thats exactly what happened. Legal costs were awarded mate. But not life costs…

Must be terrible being a victim your whole life.

Not my whole life, just the period that seargent Baker was at the Belconnen Police Station.

fgzk 11:17 am 20 Dec 11

Devils_advocate made this observation about justice else where.
“It’s an adversarial system and everyone is entitled to the most thorough defence their advocate can make. Think about the position you would be in if you were accused of a serious crime – would you want your advocate making up their own mind about whether you were guilty or innocent and then moderating his efforts accordingly? No, you would want him trying as hard as he could to ensure you remain free.

In cases like these, people can and do lie. The system’s not perfect but it’s axiomatic that it’s better for 100 guilty men to go free than for one innocent to be imprisoned.”

Yet I’m still to see any evidence that one person has actually gone free in the ACT by claiming self defense, let alone 100.

fgzk 9:28 pm 19 Dec 11

jcitizen said :

fgzk
you passed three posts about six posts ago.
Does that make you a nine post nut bag?

No, not in theory…….3 Consecutive post. Sorry, I was off topic. You do what you want.

jcitizen 9:11 pm 19 Dec 11

matt31221 said :

Assaulting a police officer is abhorrent and wrong – and should be punishable to the maximum extent of the law no question.

@jcitizen , You must not be telling the full story regarding being threatened by an AFP community police officer like that. I would have to see that to believe it that’s for sure. I have spoken to many police mainly for advice over the years, walked into a couple of the stations many times to seek advice for various matters. I have been pulled over a couple of times for minor traffic infringements (u-turn across double lines, 10km over the limit speeding etc) and the police have always been friendly and respectful to me not one exception. I have seen them deal with drug affected persons swearing and abusing them at Strathgordon court when I used to live there – many times, they kept composure and were professional even in the face of abuse. I do not believe you jcitizen but I imagine you don’t care what I believe.

matt
Its up to you what you believe, i cant do anything about that.
ive got the IA letter for me mate. Thing is i was not accused of assaulting police and i have never been convicted either. Ive also seen some people going off their rocker at police in a crazed manner but thats not what happened hear. I was ordered out of the police station because I tried to hand seargent Baker a set of six keys that had been cut when the original threat had been made to steal and torch the car, he called me a paranoid wanker and i was told that he had more important things to woorry about. Yes i gave him some lip as im sure sure most people would be offended after that. But that should not give him the right to then turn up yelling abuse at me as I stated before.
Believe what you want mate, the truth has been told and an apology was recieved via a letter. Police are only human and therefore are in no way perfect

jcitizen 8:58 pm 19 Dec 11

fgzk said :

Slumlord said :

This article sure attracted it share of nutter comments.

Three post nutbag. Jc if you cant make your point in two consecutive posts, then you don’t have a point and your just raving mad. “Whatever” credibility you had in the thread evaporates regardless.

” 3 post nutjob.” used to be a RA thing, once upon a time.

fgzk
you passed three posts about six posts ago.
Does that make you a nine post nut bag?

fgzk 10:27 am 19 Dec 11

Buzz

“So now you are starting to understand why this is brought in, people were being placed under arrest under the above circumstances, resisting arrest and assaulting Police, then claiming self defence.”

You did claim this was happening. You hinted at understanding why. You should share where you got this idea.

buzz819 9:36 am 19 Dec 11

fgzk said :

buzz819 That is very astute of you. Maybe you might know who these “people” are that have been claiming this defense in the ACT. How many people have argued this successfully in front of a judge in the ACT? Lets say in the last ten years.

I don’t know? Do you?

fgzk 6:41 am 19 Dec 11

buzz819 That is very astute of you. Maybe you might know who these “people” are that have been claiming this defense in the ACT. How many people have argued this successfully in front of a judge in the ACT? Lets say in the last ten years.

buzz819 10:48 pm 18 Dec 11

PantsMan said :

buzz819 said :

PantsMan said :

Siren said :

PantsMan said :

Mate, you don’t get it do you?

If after a Police officer clearly identify’s themselves ie. producing ID etc. AND the Police officer places someone under arrest AND the Police officer uses reasonable force, wait – let’s recap this little bit 1) Police office ID’s them self 2) the arrest is lawful AND 3) the reasonable amount of force is used (which could mean no force used at all), AND the person being arrested decides to punch the Police officer – they can no longer try and use the defence of self defence.

Do you get it? Or is the aluminium hat getting in the way of the screen?

In the above matter which you keep alluding to, it has already been found in court that the action was not lawful, if someone was able to fight Police after getting a dose like that, then self defence would have been a defence. Is that clearer?

So you only loose the defence when it would never be available anyway?

So now you are starting to understand why this is brought in, people were being placed under arrest under the above circumstances, resisting arrest and assaulting Police, then claiming self defence.

PantsMan 9:19 pm 18 Dec 11

buzz819 said :

PantsMan said :

Siren said :

PantsMan said :

So when you are capsicum sprayed, like that guy in the city watchhouse, you cannot resist? Our Human Rights Act has created some great pamphlets and public servants to administer it, but little else.

Did you read the OP?
“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.”
Surely you’re aware that the ex-officer involved in the watch house ‘spraying’ video was charged (ie his actions were not lawful) and is no longer working for the AFP?
I’m all for this change. I hate to think of a time when people won’t work for the police, ambos or as a nurse because when they’re going about their job LAWFULLY and some other idiot jumps in and punches on, they get off charges in court on the basis of “I was only protecting XXX”.
I think about that poor young WA cop who ended up with brain damage, and a Tuggeranong cop who was in plain clothes and intervened in a fight at Lanyon only to get flogged by bystanders a few years ago.
Same thing has happened to ambos & nurses – patients & family members hurting them while they are doing their thing – it’s just not OK.
No-one in this thread is saying any person deserves to be assaulted, whether at work or not, but I do think that this change is necessary given past court outcomes.
Lots of people (including me) have a relative or friend that works in law enforcement and/or emergency services. I’m thankful for the job they do and am keen to ensure that the right people work in these positions. Closing this ‘loophole’ and ensuring magistrates’ hands aren’t tied in sentencing is one of the ways we can help ensure the right people work in these positions.
There are oversight bodies to complain to if you believe you have been treated poorly – resisting and hurting someone, or ending up hurt yourself as a result of resisting lawful actions isn’t helpful. The qualifier is lawful. I can’t see any issue with the proposal, just some people failing to understand the difference between lawful and unlawful actions.

So if someone who says they’re a plain clothes cop physically restrains or assaults you, you have to assume that 1. they are not impersonating a police officer, 2. they are acting within their powers and not performing a citizens arrest, 3. and their actions are otherwise lawful. These things can only be determined after the fact. The capsicum spray guy was supposed to predict whether or not what was happening to him was lawful before deciding whether to cop a criminal assault from some lowlife, while other officers stood by (waiting to batten him presumably) if the tried to defend himself. Human rights anyone?

With a handle like ‘Siren’ I presume that you are a bit closer to the AFP than you suggest.

Mate, you don’t get it do you?

If after a Police officer clearly identify’s themselves ie. producing ID etc. AND the Police officer places someone under arrest AND the Police officer uses reasonable force, wait – let’s recap this little bit 1) Police office ID’s them self 2) the arrest is lawful AND 3) the reasonable amount of force is used (which could mean no force used at all), AND the person being arrested decides to punch the Police officer – they can no longer try and use the defence of self defence.

Do you get it? Or is the aluminium hat getting in the way of the screen?

In the above matter which you keep alluding to, it has already been found in court that the action was not lawful, if someone was able to fight Police after getting a dose like that, then self defence would have been a defence. Is that clearer?

So you only loose the defence when it would never be available anyway?

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