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Oct 14, 2008

DNA Bill must be scrapped, say legal experts

sun2surf | ... Constitutional law practitioner and expert Tommy Thomas said the Bill was drafted in "extreme language".

Speaking in the Bar Council public forum titled "The DNA Bill: Do We Need It" on yesterday, Thomas said: "Although the Bill may have laudable intentions in trying to apply 21st Century scientific and technological advances to the detection and prosecution of crimes, it is drafted in such extreme language that it shifts the balance from the accused to the prosecution in a wholly unacceptable manner."

"The Bill is so poorly drafted that it cannot be improved by debate and by amendment. It is my case that the Bill has to be withdrawn immediately," he said.

Thomas, who was the first to speak from a panel of six speakers, pointed out the following flaws in the Bill:

> Clause 2 - that DNA sampling is not limited to serious offences; DNA can be taken from any individual who has committed any offence;

> Clauses 7(1) and (2) - that the head and deputy head of the DNA data bank are police officers;

> Clause 9 - that the head of the DNA data bank has the power to rectify any particulars, and that such rectification is not considered an act of tampering;

> Clause 10 - that the Home Minister can give directions to the head of the data bank relating to their powers and functions, and the head of the data bank shall give effect to such directions;... selanjutnya.


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