The Crimes Amendment (Forensic Procedures) Bill 2010 was introduced to the lower house yesterday. The Explanatory Memorandum can be read here. A link to a government press release about the Bill is here. The Statement of Compatibility is here, and the Second Reading is here.
There are two key changes that are likely to increase the number of DNA samples taken by police:
- Amending ss 464R, 464T, 464U, 464V and other provisions of the Crimes Act 1958 to lower the threshold of certainty for acquisition of a forensic sample. Under the amendments police would be required to have reasonable grounds to suspect rather than believe that the procedure would tend to confirm or disprove the involvement of the suspect in the commission of an indictable offence.
- Allowing applications under s 464ZF for a compulsory DNA sample on a finding of guilt for any indictable offence. At present only a finding of guilt of a forensic sample offence found in Schedule 8 of the Crimes Act permits an application to be made.
(Edit: But, as the Elucubrator pointed out to me, the Bill will have to be re-introduced after the election, if the present government is re-elected. So the dates in the present Bill are unlikely to be accurate.)