Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson
Revelations Tasmania Police left secret recording devices in a confidential prison meeting room continually recording for two months are extremely disturbing. Police will have digitally captured many sensitive and privileged conversations between clients and their lawyers, and potentially other parties including psychiatrists, psychologists, and religious guides.
Police Minister Felix Ellis must explain what occurred to enable this two month-long secret taping of privileged conversations. These secret open-ended recordings have the potential to erode trust in police and the state’s justice system.
As a consequence of this bungled process, evidence in relation to serious allegations will not be admitted to court. This is a lose, lose situation for justice.
This is a grave matter, and the Police Minister must provide clear information about what’s occurred.
Were other conversations taped in this confidential room, in addition to the ones Tasmania Police sought a warrant for, accessed by any police officer?
Police evidence suggests they have no way of identifying if this has occurred. If true, that is entirely unacceptable and raises questions about police practices of confidential data storage and access.
Have there have been other instances of privileged conversations recorded, outside of any that were the subject a warrant?
Minister Ellis must provide clear, detailed explanations of what changes will be made to ensure this never happens again. No privileged conservations, unless subject to a court warrant, should be recorded by police.
The Police Minister must reassure Tasmanians that systems are in place to identify when information is accessed, and by whom, on recording devices. This is in the interest not only of legal rights, but of justice being served.