Controlled Operations – Some practical tips

Controlled Operations – some practical tips
by Jason Hale

The Law Enforcement (Controlled Operations) Act 1997 gives the police the power to contravene the criminal law. It gives trained undercover operatives (and non-police participants) the authority to purchase prohibited drugs, stolen property and firearms.

It also allows operatives and non-police participants to engage in activities that assist police in securing a conviction – for example recording admissions from a person charged with murder.

This paper gives some tips for practitioners who have been served with a brief of evidence that contains material that has been obtained during a controlled operation.

It covers areas including defects in controlled operations authorities and their exclusion under section 138 of the Evidence Act 1995. It also provides some tips for the cross examination of an undercover operative and a police expert.

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Controlled Operations – some practical tips