Serious misconduct by NSW Police Strike Force Raptor violates international standards

March 29, 2021

Australia’s leading association of human rights lawyers has expressed profound concern at serious abuses of power by members of NSW Police Strike Force Raptor detailed in a Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) report which was made public late on Friday. 

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) President Kerry Weste said, “The ability of lawyers to perform their professional obligations without fear of retribution by government actors is an absolutely essential element of our legal system and indeed strikes at the very heart of democracy and the rule of law.”

“The intimidation of lawyers contravenes a number of international human rights instruments, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers. The NSW Government and its agents, including the NSW Police, are obliged to ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.”

Ms Weste continued, “The LECC’s findings that members of the NSW Police Strike Force Raptor engaged in the “deliberate, deceitful and malicious harassment” of a solicitor performing his professional duties to his client are deeply troubling. The intimidation over a period of two days at the solicitor’s home, place of work and the NSW Local Court, is not only an affront to international standards but undermines community trust in the NSW Police Force.”

“ALHR calls on Premier Berejiklian to ensure that police in NSW comply with the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and ensure that lawyers can perform their duties without improper interference.”

Contact: Matt Mitchell, ALHR media manager 0431 980 365.

 Image credit: Newcastle Herald