Friday, April 09, 2004

Monash students update: Victoria Police invent new crime

With their creative powers possibly being unleashed by widespread (and well-documented) illegal drug-merchandising in recent years, Victoria’s police now have a side-line in inventing new crimes. Indeed, they have seemingly taken to it like a Carlton football player, pilling-off his dial, mistakes the word “recovery” for its non-workplace* meaning.

Unlawful imprisonment (also called false imprisonment) is, if a crime at all, a common-law one of extreme obscurity. My criminal law textbook mentions it in a single para, before moving on to the closely-related, but more serious, and usually-codified, crime of kidnapping.

Which isn’t to say that unlawful/false imprisonment is totally uncommon – but as a tort, not a crime. Funnily enough, almost all claims in tort of unlawful/false imprisonment are against the police.

In other words, the police’s investigation of the Monash students for unlawful/false imprisonment is an appalling waste of taxpayer resources. If those “imprisoned” by the Monash students have a grievance, then they are free to make a civil claim against their “captors”. It is not for the police to provide free resources towards such a civil claim, or (more likely) to invoke a sham prosecution, with zero prospect of success, mainly to muzzle and/or sidetrack future debate about an issue of paramount public importance.

* I can’t resist this off-topic aside: where the hell has AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou been working all his life? Demetriou told radio, apropos of Angwin and his mate hardly being able to keep their eyes open, or stand up unsupported at the now-infamous "recovery":

"It's unacceptable in the first instance for two players, or two people, to turn up at a workplace in a shocking state. I mean that's just unacceptable and it's reprehensible."

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?