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SNL2017 CHAPTER S-13.003

SERIOUS INCIDENT RESPONSE TEAM ACT

[To be Proclaimed]

 

Amended:

 

 

CHAPTER S-13.003

AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A SERIOUS INCIDENT RESPONSE TEAM FOR THE PROVINCE

(Assented to December 7, 2017)

Analysis



Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:

Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Serious Incident Response Team Act .

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "agency" means the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or another police service;

             (b)  "chief officer" means the chief of police of an agency;

             (c)  "director" means the civilian director of the Serious Incident Response Team appointed under section 4;

             (d)  "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

             (e)  "police officer" means a member of an agency;

             (f)  "serious incident" means a death, a serious injury, a sexual offence, domestic violence or any matter of significant public interest that may have arisen from the actions of a police officer in the province; and

             (g)  "Serious Incident Response Team" means the team established by this Act and includes the director, investigators and other employees appointed to the team.

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Serious Incident Response Team

        3. (1) There is established a Serious Incident Response Team to provide oversight of policing by providing independent investigation of serious incidents involving police officers in the province.

             (2)  The team may also provide independent oversight assistance or conduct an investigation in another province in accordance with an agreement entered into under the authority of section 10.

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Director

        4. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint a person to be the civilian director of the Serious Incident Response Team.

             (2)  A person who is a current or former police officer in any jurisdiction shall not be appointed as the director.

             (3)  The director shall be appointed for a term not exceeding 5   years and may be reappointed for an additional term not exceeding 5 years.

             (4)  The director shall be paid the salary and other remuneration that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may determine.

             (5)  The director ceases to hold office upon

             (a)  the expiry of his or her term;

             (b)  his or her resignation in writing to the minister; or

             (c)  his or her termination by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

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Interim director

        5. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint an interim director for one term not exceeding one year where the director

             (a)  ceases to hold office; or

             (b)  is unable to perform the duties of his or her office.

             (2)  The director may, after consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, designate a Crown Attorney to act as the acting director in place of the director while the director is absent or unable to perform the duties of his or her office.

             (3)  Where the director is unable to designate an acting director, the minister may, after consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions, designate a Crown Attorney to act as the acting director in place of the director while the director is absent or unable to perform the duties of his or her office.

             (4)  An act done by an interim director or an acting director appointed under this section has the same effect as if it were done by the director.

             (5)  An acting director appointed under this section shall be

             (a)  appointed for a period not exceeding 3 months; and

             (b)  seconded from his or her position as a Crown Attorney to the acting director's position.

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Director responsible to minister

        6. The director is responsible to the minister for

             (a)  the direction of the Serious Incident Response Team and the police officers and other resources assigned to the team from agencies for the purpose of assisting the team;

             (b)  the direction of investigations and reporting of serious incidents involving police officers;

             (c)  the administration of the budget of the team; and

             (d)  the discharge of other duties and functions assigned under this Act or the regulations.

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Investigators and employees

        7. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the director, appoint the investigators necessary for the purpose of assisting the Serious Incident Response Team.

             (2)  The investigators shall be paid the salary and other remuneration that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may determine.

             (3)  The employees required by the team to carry out its powers, duties and functions shall be appointed or employed in the manner authorized by law.

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Agency assistance to Serious Incident Response Team

        8. (1) The minister may direct a chief officer to select qualified police officers and other resources from the agency to assist the Serious Incident Response Team and the chief officer shall select police officers for that purpose and advise the director accordingly.

             (2)  Upon consultation with the chief officer, the director may assign police officers selected under subsection (1) from the agency to assist an investigation.

             (3)  Where a police officer is assigned by the director under this section, that police officer reports solely to, and is under the sole command and direction of, the director with respect to that investigation but remains the financial responsibility of the agency from which the officer was selected.

             (4)  A person shall not perform the role of a team commander or a lead investigator in an investigation relating to a police officer where that person is a member of the same agency.

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Powers of director and investigators

        9. The director and the investigators acting under the authority of this Act have

             (a)  all the powers, duties and immunities of a peace officer and constable at common law or under any Act; and

             (b)  jurisdiction throughout the province while carrying out those duties and exercising those powers.

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Agreements

      10. (1) The director may enter into agreements with an agency, the Government of Canada, the government of another province or a municipality as required to undertake the work of or related to the Serious Incident Response Team.

             (2)  On the recommendation of the director, the minister may enter into agreements with an agency, the Government of Canada, the government of another province or a municipality to allow the Serious Incident Response Team to provide independent oversight assistance or conduct an investigation.

             (3)  An agreement entered into with the Government of Canada or the government of another province under this section is not an intergovernmental agreement within the meaning of the Intergovernmental Affairs Act .

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Notifying director of serious incident

      11. (1) A chief officer shall notify the director as soon as practicable where the chief officer believes that a serious incident may have occurred.

             (2)  Where the minister believes that a serious incident may have occurred and the chief officer has not notified the director, the minister may notify the director.

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Investigations

      12. Upon notification of a serious incident under section 11 or where the director becomes aware of a serious incident, the director may do one or more of the following:

             (a)  arrange for an investigation to be undertaken by the Serious Incident Response Team, which may include taking over an ongoing investigation at any stage;

             (b)  refer the matter to an agency to conduct an investigation, which may include taking over an ongoing investigation at any stage;

             (c)  upon consultation with a chief officer, assign one or more police officers selected under subsection 8(1) to assist or advise an agency that is investigating a serious incident or to assist or advise the Serious Incident Response Team investigating a serious incident;

             (d)  enter into an agreement to have an independent team or agency from another province conduct an investigation;

             (e)  direct that the Serious Incident Response Team oversee, observe, monitor or review an investigation by an agency;

             (f)  appoint a community liaison or observer to work with the Serious Incident Response Team in the course of an investigation;

             (g)  refer the matter to the chief officer or Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Public Complaints Commission under section 19 of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Act, 1992 ;

             (h)  refer the matter under the complaints process in Part VII of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (Canada ); or

              (i)  determine that the matter is not within the mandate of the Serious Incident Response Team.

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Investigation update

      13. (1) Not later than 45 days after an investigation under paragraph 12(a) is started, and every 45 days thereafter while the investigation is ongoing, the director shall provide an update of the investigation to 

             (a)  the minister;

             (b)  the chief officer of the agency in which the police officer under investigation is or was employed;

             (c)  the police officer under investigation; and

             (d)  a person directly affected by the serious incident or where he or she is deceased, his or her family.

             (2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), the director is not required to provide an update where he or she is of the opinion that it would unreasonably interfere with an investigation.

             (3)  An update shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations.

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Report

      14. Upon the conclusion of an investigation under paragraph 12(a) or as requested by the director, the Serious Incident Response Team shall submit a report to the director in the form prescribed by the director.

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Determining whether charges will be laid

      15. (1) Upon the conclusion of an investigation by the Serious Incident Response Team under paragraph 12(a) and receipt of the report from the team under section 14, the director shall

             (a)  consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions; and

             (b)  determine whether a charge shall be laid.

             (2)  Upon the conclusion of an investigation by an agency under paragraph 12(b), that agency shall

             (a)  consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions; and

             (b)  determine whether a charge shall be laid.

             (3)  Upon the conclusion of an investigation by a team or agency under paragraph 12(d), that team or agency shall

             (a)  consult with the Director of Public Prosecutions; and

             (b)  determine whether a charge shall be laid.

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Investigative file available to disciplinary authority

      16. Upon conclusion of an investigation by the Serious Incident Response Team under paragraph 12(a), the director shall provide the investigative file of the team to the chief officer of the agency in which the police officer under investigation is or was employed.

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Investigation summary

      17. (1) As soon as reasonably practicable but no later than 3 months after receiving a report under section 14, the director shall provide a summary of an investigation conducted in accordance with paragraph 12(a) to

             (a)  the minister;

             (b)  the chief officer of the agency in which the police officer under investigation is or was employed;

             (c)  the police officer under investigation; and

             (d)  a person directly affected by the serious incident or where he or she is deceased, his or her family.

             (2)  The summary shall be in the form prescribed by the regulations.

             (3)  The director or the minister shall provide a summary of an investigation to the public in the form prescribed by the regulations.

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Annual report

      18. The director shall submit an annual report to the minister respecting the operations of the Serious Incident Response Team which shall include

             (a)  the number of investigations started and concluded in the year;

             (b)  the nature of each investigation;

             (c)  the result of each investigation;

             (d)  the number of charges against police officers laid in the year;

             (e)  other administrative and financial details as the minister may direct; and

             (f)  those other matters as prescribed by the regulations.

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Confidentiality

      19. The director, an investigator, an employee of the Serious Incident Response Team and all persons acting under this Act shall preserve secrecy in respect of all information obtained in the course of his or her duties and shall not disclose that information to another person except as required in connection with the administration of this Act or as required by law.

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Regulations

      20. The minister may make regulations

             (a)  prescribing the duties of the director;

             (b)  respecting notifications of serious incidents;

             (c)  respecting investigations;

             (d)  respecting investigation updates;

             (e)  respecting investigation summaries;

             (f)  respecting annual reports;

             (g)  defining a word or expression that is used but not defined in this Act; and

             (h)  generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

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SNL2015 cA-1.2 Amdt.

      21. (1) Subsection 5(1) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (k) the following:

         (k.1)  a record relating to an investigation by the Serious Incident Response Team as defined under the Serious Incident Response Team Act if all matters in respect of the investigation have not been completed;

             (2)  Subsection 5(1) of the Act is amended by deleting the word "or" and the end of paragraph (l), by deleting the period at the end of paragraph (m) and substituting a semi-colon and the word "or", and by adding immediately after that paragraph the following:

             (n)  a record relating to an investigation by the Serious Incident Response Team as defined under the Serious Incident Response Team Act in which suspicion of guilt of a police officer is expressed but no charge was ever laid, or relating to prosecutorial consideration of that investigation.

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Commencement

      22. This Act comes into force on a day to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

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