Interception & Monitoring Bill; Judicial Officers Amendment Bill; International Criminal Court Bill; Magistrate Zulu; Legal Aid

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Justice and Correctional Services

23 January 2002
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

JUSTICE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
24 January 2002
INTERCEPTION AND MONITORING BILL; JUDICIAL OFFICERS AMENDMENT BILL; INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT BILL; MAGISTRATE ZULU; LEGAL AID GUIDE


Chairperson: Adv JH de Lange

Documents handed out:
IMB 63: Tabled bill with committee-approved amendments suggested by the public [amendments indicated by square brackets and underlining]
IMB 64: Tabled bill with committee-approved amendments suggested by the public [amendments incorporated]

Note: This meeting was not minuted in detail. The following is a brief summary of the proceedings

Interception and Monitoring Bill
Mr Labuschagne (Department drafter) briefed the Committee on the changes made to the tabled Bill from Chapter 1 to the beginning of Chapter 8. The Committee had proposed certain changes as a result of the public hearings and he had incorporated these. The drafter had also been requested to research applications and interception directions and provide amendments in line with international practice.

The document that the Committee will be using in future deliberations is IMB63 which shows what changes have been made to the original tabled Bill. Additions are reflected by underlining and deletions are shown by means of square brackets. [For the convenience of the committee, the drafter also prepared a version which fully incorporates these amendments (IMB 64)].

In his detailed briefing, the following main changes to the working document of the Bill were noted:
Chapter 1 has some new definitions such as
"encrypted information" and "cellular phone"

Chapter 2 dealing with the general prohibition
of interception of communication has included many exceptions which are new.

Chapter 3 deals with types and content of applications for an interception direction. Chapter 4 deals with the issuing of and content of interception directions. After researching UK, US and Australian legislation which spells out the types and content of an application and a interception direction in detail, a similar approach has been adopted in the latest draft of the Bill.

Chapter 8 has new positions on the prohibition of certain equipment as well as exemptions.

Chapter 9 has new offences included.

Despite these changes, the main principles remain the same. In particular, what remains unchanged is that service providers must provide certain equipment and facilities at their own cost and the State
establish, equip, operate and maintain the interception centres.
.
Judicial Officers Amendment Bill
A new draft of the Bill is available. However, this may change after a process of public submissions. Last year the Committee called for public submissions on the Bill and received a number of submissions. Public hearings will follow shortly and the draft of the Bill may change.

International Criminal Court Bill
The Committee is waiting for a legal opinion from the Department on the Bill.

Magistrate Zulu
A case was brought against Magistrate Zulu and the issue was referred to Parliament as well. The Minister has to decide on the matter and the Committee will receive a briefing on the decision.

Legal Aid Guide
The Legal Aid Board drew up the Guide; it was circulated last year. It was then tabled and referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice. The Committee will prepare a resolution, which will state whether they agree with the Guide or not.

Committee Report
The Report was completed last year. A number of political party members were elected to consider whether they agreed that the report was a correct reflection of the Committee's activities last year. Ms Chohan-Kota, Dr Delport, Mr Swart and Mr Andries Nel were elected.


 

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