The Standing Committee on Human rights ruled that POCA amounts to “double punishment”. The Government of the day ignored that advice and implemented this ill thought out piece of legislation anyway.
The Judiciary have commented that this law is “draconian in nature”. Where a Government seeks to enact such legislation it must put in place better checks and balances to protect the rights of its citizens. Otherwise we are on a slippery slope to a police state.
POCA erodes basic human rights such as the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial.
Restraint Orders are normally granted ex parte and once granted can only be appealed if you have access to “third party funds”, as the defendant’s funds are barred by statute from being used to appeal the restraint order being issued by the judge.
Legal aid is only available to the defendant, post charge which can be years after arrest and, in any event, Legal Aid cannot be used to challenge the Restraint Order. Police can bail a defendant for years without charge.
This allows the prosecutor (who will benefit from any confiscation order made, post conviction), the opportunity to lie, or be inaccurate, in the statement used to obtain the restraint order knowing he is never likely to be challenged.
“I’m a Christian. I support the repeal of POCA. Stop the erosion of our civil liberties. Not on my watch!”