Inquiry into the Powers of Entry, Search, Seizure and Questioning by Authorised Persons

Terms of Reference

The Governor in Council, acting under section 4F(1)(a)(ii) and 4F(3) of the Parliamentary Committees Act 1968 and on the recommendation of the Attorney-General, by this Order requires the Law Reform Committee to inquire into, consider and report to the Parliament on the following matters:

  1. The purpose, effectiveness, fairness and consistency of provisions in Victorian legislation dealing with the exercise of powers including:
    • the power to enter premises or vehicles;
    • the power to search premises or vehicles;
    • the power to seize any thing;
    • the power to question any person or to require a person to provide any documents (and the extent to which that person may rely upon the privilege against self-incrimination)-
    by authorised persons (including members of Victoria Police where those members are acting as authorised persons) for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the law or for investigating actual or suspected breaches of the law, having regard to the policy objectives of the relevant legislation.
  2. Whether there should be a greater degree of consistency in the future development of such powers in Victoria, having regard to different legislative models (including criminal laws of general application, licensing provisions, legislation designed to protect public health and safety and the environment and emergency powers) and to the need to match powers with the risk and gravity of the offence to which the powers are directed.

In conducting the Inquiry the Committee is to have regard to:

  1. The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills Fourth Report of 1999 Entry and Search Powers in Commonwealth Legislation 6 April 2000.
  2. Such other legislation, case law, reports and materials as are relevant to the Inquiry.
  3. The experiences of competent authorities administering legislation containing powers of entry, search, seizure, and the ability to ask questions or require the provision of information.
  4. Complaints data relating to the use of such powers (for instance, data held by the Ombudsman, Victoria Police or other government agencies)

The Committee is requested to make its final report to the Parliament by the first day of the Autumn 2002 Parliamentary sittings.

Dated 18 April 2001

Responsible Minister:


Last Updated on Monday, 08 August 2011