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NCJ Number: 63147 Find in a Library
Title: BEACH AND NORRIS INQUIRIES
Journal: LEGAL SERVICE BULLETIN  Volume:3  Issue:3  Dated:(JUNE 1978)  Pages:88-91
Author(s): P SALLMANN
Corporate Author: Legal Service Bulletin
Faculty of Law
Monash University
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Legal Service Bulletin
Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: A CRITIQUE IS PRESENTED OF THE REPORT OF AN AUSTRALIAN BOARD OF INQUIRY ASSIGNED TO INVESTIGATE POLICE MISCONDUCT IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS, ALONG WITH THE REPORT OF A COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE BOARD'S PROPOSALS.
Abstract: THE BEACH BOARD OF INQUIRY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1975 TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF MISCONDUCT AGAINST MEMBERS OF THE VICTORIA POLICE FORCE. AS A RESULT, ADVERSE FINDINGS WERE MADE AGAINST 55 POLICE OFFICERS; 32 WERE PROSECUTED; ALL HAVE BEEN ACQUITTED. BEACH FOUND THAT POLICE OFFICERS OF TEN VIOLATED PROCEDURAL PRINCIPLES REGULATING THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING EVIDENCE (PRINCIPLES WITHOUT THE FORCE OF LAW). THE BOARD RECOMMENDED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PRECISE SUSPECT RIGHTS WITH THE FORCE OF LAW. RECOMMENDED RIGHTS AND PROTECTION PROVISIONS WERE THE TAPERECORDING OF SUSPECT INTERVIEWS, THE VIDEOTAPING OF LINEUPS, AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SYSTEM INDEPENDENT OF THE POLICE FORCE TO HEAR AND INVESTIGATE COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE POLICE. THE EXCLUSION OF EVIDENCE OBTAINED ILLEGALLY WAS ALSO RECOMMENDED. WHILE THE BEACH RECOMMENDATIONS WERE INDICATORS OF THE PROPER DIRECTION TO BE TAKEN, THEY WERE NOT DETAILED ENOUGH TO ALLOW IMMEDIATE ADOPTION. A COMMITTEE (NORRIS) WAS THEREFORE APPOINTED TO REVIEW THE BEACH PROPOSALS IN FAVOR OF A CONTINUATION OF THE EXISTING SYSTEM OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION. ONE WORTHWHILE FEATURE OF THE COMMITTEE'S REPORT, HOWEVER, WAS THE RECOMMENDATION THAT THERE BE A PRIMAFACIE PRESUMPTION OF EXCLUSION OF EVIDENCE SHOWN TO BE UNFAIRLY OBTAINED, WHICH MUST BE REBUTTED BY THE PROSECUTION. IT IS LIKELY THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL ACCEPT THE COMMITTEE'S GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND SERIOUS REFORM WILL YET AGAIN BE POSTPONED UNTIL ANOTHER POLICE INQUIRY. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Australia; Commission reports; Critiques; Exclusionary rule; Investigative powers; Police legal limitations; Suspect identification; Suspect interrogation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63147

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