I have a very simple question for Chris Bowen in the light of the Christmas Island riots:
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen rejected opposition claims that Christmas Island was out of control, saying he was satisfied the AFP had taken stewardship of the detention facility. He appointed two former senior bureaucrats to review the performance of his department and Serco.
Describing the violence as inexcusable, Mr Bowen said he had the power to reject visa applications on the basis of conduct and character, in a clear warning to the ringleaders that their activities could cost them asylum even if they are not charged.
Mr Bowen told The Weekend Australian yesterday jail time for the rioters would not be ruled out.
“Their punishment will be the equivalent of anyone else who acted in that manner,” a spokesman for Mr Bowen said. “It will be punishment that fits the crime.”
Criminal law expert Guy Hall said the detainees could be charged with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, which has a maximum sentence of 20 years. Professor Hall said the harsher end of the sentence would most likely apply because of the severity of the situation.
“Because they allegedly threw these cocktails at AFP in execution of their duties, and because they are foreigners, it would worsen their charge,” he said. “However, it’s too early to speculate on this case but talking generally, that is what would happen.”
When will the ringleaders be charged and when will the rioters be deported?
These people are behaving in and entirely unacceptable manner and there is literally no excuse for this kind of violence and until the rioters suffer actual negative consequences for their actions then the recent events on that not so festive island are bound to be repeated. Does anyone really think that any of the riotors will be charged?
My expectation is that the Labor will be do nothing because charging “asylum seekers” with anything will just send more of their supporters deeper into the embrace of the Greens… After all no one has been charged over the incident where asylum seekers blew up their own boat last year…
Iain … it’s a police matter. The Government and its Ministers do not make arrests.
But court prosecution is at the discretion of the crown ?
I’ve never heard of a Government also acting as prosecutor. I think Bowen’s message is quite clear – he wants charges laid. But, of course, he cannot order the police to lay them. Something about the separation of powers, I believe.
Using tear gas was a mistake because if they cry it will raise water levels and how will we stop the boats then??.?!???
STRAIGHT TO THE BACK OF THE CUE WITH THEM
Federal law always supercedes state law not only in the case of immigration, but anything else that comes to mind. He can direct the DPP to lay charges on the basis that the location of the land of the offences, is a federal reservation, and subject to federal law. (as far as I know)
Also, as the immigration act is a federal statute, that also allows prosecution, but, only under that statute.
There are many ways the feds can procede.
Whether or not they have the guts to do so, and face a possible public backlash is the only thing stopping them I feel.
put em on a bus !
My point was, Sax, that the Minister cannot direct the police (State or Federal) to lay charges. They have jurisdiction over that. Full stop.
Barry’s a bright spark!
He can direct the DPP under ministerial powers Ray. Also, again, as the land is classed as Federal, it comes under the responsibilities of the federal police. Another way they are capable of doing it. But, as I said, whether or not they have the guts to do it, is another matter, especially as the whole scenario is a hot potato electorate wise ?
I think you’ll find, Sax, that when push comes to shove the police cannot be “directed” (or ordered) by the minister as to how they go about their investigations and what charges they might lay. He can use influence but he cannot interfere in a police investigation.
The minister can, (through the Attorney General’s Department), and often does, interfere Ray. Directed prosectution I think they call it. They can also direct an investigation, to ascertain certain particulars of a crime, and it’s perpertraters for later prosectution.
To save a long drawn out denial from you again, I quote the below from wiki. I hate using wiki, but the source on this occasion is accurate.
which appears to be exactly what I stated above. So, they government can proceed if they have the guts to do so. And further in the same article ……
Seems to pretty much describe the AG’s position here doesn’t it ?
To save a long drawn out denial from you again
Hardly as long as yours, Sax. I’ll keep this one short too. My point is the Minister cannot interfere in a police investigation. Of course he can “authorise” prosecutions, but only on information gathered by police. In other words, he has no power to conduct criminal investigations.
Why don’t you just admit on this occasion you’re wrong, and be done with it ?
Short enough for ya ?
It’s not semantics, Sax. The Minister can’t do anything without facts. And the facts are gathered by the police, without interference from the Government.
bugger, sorry about that
try that again, can u delete the first one Iain ?
And how, or where, do the police get the powers to complete that investigation Ray ?
Would it be under the powers given to them under the respective legislation, and more directly, under those powers at the direction and the discretion of the DPP perhaps ?
The minister, utilising the DPP (that is under his direct departmental control and purview), can investigate and prosecute anything, as long as it is lawful under the respective acts of parliament.
Quite simple really, don’t know why you can’t see it ?
Sax, the police don’t need the Minister’s direction to investigate this matter – they’re already doing it. They were the ones attacked, remember? My remarks are in context of responding to the question Iain posed (which is the whole point of this post): “When will the ringleaders be charged”. And my response was simply this: When the police finish their investigations.
Nice typical, two line, Ray Dixon bait and switch ?
Again, who do you think directs that investigation Ray ?
It is the Crown, under the supervision of the DPP, a statutory federal or state government legal arm, that directs the police to investigate a matter that may need to be investigated.
We can argue the toss here all day, but the point still remains that charges will probably, unfortunately never be laid, as the whole issue is a political stick of dynamite. No one wins here in this situation, the government will be dammed if they charged these people and sent them home, or if they didn’t, hence the rhetoric, and lack of action. That’s the reality of the whole sad mess. No guts, no glory for my money, the weak pack of oxygen thieves !
BTW for info, charges can be laid without investigation. That is usually the case anyway, in any crime. That is when the DPP gets the final call, as to whether they wish to proceed. That doesn’t stop the charges being laid in the interim. That is exactly what should be done here. The charges should be laid, and the let the investigation continue without interference. They have “probable cause” to lay the charges, but they are too bloody scared of the possible political backlash to do it.
me thinks you have sawdust for a brain Sax.
Funny Indii, thought you may have been in strife understanding the argument, after all, there are a few words in there over five letters in length ?