By Zeb Holmes and Ugur Nedim

The Regulation Enforcement (Powers and Tasks) Act 2002 (the LEPRA) units out police powers in New South Wales in addition to most of the guidelines officers are required to observe when exercising these powers.

Can police arrest me with no warrant?

Section 99(1) of the LEPRA empowers a police officer to arrest an individual with no warrant if she or he:

  • Suspects the individual on cheap grounds of committing or having dedicated an offence, or
  • Is glad the arrest in all fairness needed due to the character or seriousness of the cost, or to:
  • cease the individual committing a unbroken to commit or committing one other offence,
  • cease the individual fleeing,
  • verify or confirm the individual’s id,
  • make sure the individual seems in courtroom,
  • receive property within the individual’s possession that’s linked with the offence,
  • protect proof of the offence,
  • stop the fabrication of proof,
  • stop potential witnesses from being harassed or interfered with, or
  • shield the protection or welfare of any individual (together with the individual arrested),

The part gives that an arrested individual will be detained in accordance with different provisions of the Act.

How lengthy can I be detained after arrest?

Earlier than politicians started their concerted effort to erode civil liberties in favour of state management, the principles referring to detention after arrest have been very totally different in our state.

Frequent legislation

Beneath the frequent legislation, police have been prohibited from detaining a suspect whereas investigating whether or not to cost them.

Within the phrases of Davidson J in Clarke v Bailey (1933) 33 SR (NSW) 303, it was “obligatory for a constable, to be able to justify an arrest, to shew that he had taken the arrested individual immediately, and by probably the most direct route, earlier than a justice, until some circumstances fairly justify a departure from these necessities”.

This rule was reaffirmed by the Excessive Courtroom of Australia in Williams v The Queen [1986] HCA 88, throughout which Mason and Brennan JJ acknowledged, “if an individual can’t be taken into custody for the aim of interrogation, he can’t be saved in custody for that goal.”

“It’s not for the courts to erode the frequent legislation’s safety of private liberty to be able to improve the armoury of legislation enforcement… if the legislature thinks it’s proper to reinforce the armoury of legislation enforcement, at the very least the legislature is ready to prescribe some safeguards.”

Nevertheless, politicians have since enacted laws to allow the detention of suspects after arrest with no warrant for the aim of investigation, together with questioning.


Half 9 of the LEPRA now units out the principles referring to investigations and questioning after arrest.

Section 114 of the Act empowers police to detain an individual after arrest for the relevant investigation interval.

It gives that an individual should be launched – whether or not unconditionally or on bail – or introduced earlier than a courtroom or authorised officer inside that interval, or as quickly as practicable on the finish of that interval if it’s not attainable to take action.

The part additionally gives that the place an individual is arrested greater than as soon as inside a 48 hour interval, the sooner investigation interval is taken into consideration for the later arrest until the later arrest pertains to an offence suspected of getting been dedicated after the individual’s launch.

Section 115 units the utmost investigation interval at six hours, which begins on the time of arrest and ends at an inexpensive time having regard to all the circumstances. The interval was elevated from 4 hours in 2014.

Nevertheless, section 118 permits police to use to an authorised officer (akin to an area courtroom Justice of the Peace or registrar) for a ‘detention warrant’ which extends the investigation for as much as six hours extra.

The authorised officer is to not grant such a warrant until glad that

  • the investigation was being performed diligently and immediately, and
  • an extra interval of detention in all fairness needed to finish the investigation, and
  • there isn’t a different cheap approach of finishing the investigation, and
  • It was not practicable to finish the investigation inside six hours.

Just one such warrant could also be granted.

Beneath section 116 police are speculated to have regard to a spread of things when figuring out any related investigation interval (not exceeding six hours), together with the suspect’s age, bodily state and psychological means, the character and complexity of the incidents beneath investigation, and different work required akin to questioning witnesses or endeavor searches.


It is very important observe that beneath section 117, the related investigation interval doesn’t take note of the time it takes to:

  • Get to the police station;
  • Await the arrival of somebody with explicit information or abilities referring to the investigation;
  • Await the supply of services for the recording of official questioning;
  • Talk with a buddy, relative, interpreter or lawyer on the cellphone, or await their arrival, or converse with them as soon as they arrive;
  • Receive medical consideration;
  • Organise and carry out an identification parade;
  • Relaxation, have refreshments and entry a toilet or different services;
  • Get well from the consequences of medicine or alcohol;
  • Apply for a detention warrant, search warrant or crime warrant that pertains to the investigation;
  • Undergo the charging process; or
  • Perform forensic procedures, or put together, make or get rid of an order for such a process

Clearly, these ‘time-outs’ can considerably improve the time spent in police custody.

Terrorism offences

It must also be famous that totally different guidelines apply to those that police say are suspected of terrorism offences. In these instances, police can apply for preventative detention orders which permit them to maintain suspects in custody for as much as 14 days with out bringing prices towards them.


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