The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 15:16 :25 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Police a question.
The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN: In answer to questions in Estimates Committee A, in the other place, on Monday 1 August, the minister advised that SAPOL is currently undertaking a trial in which law graduates are being used in the place of police prosecutors. My questions to the minister are:
1.Are the law graduates employed during the trial by SAPOL, or another government department?
2.What practical training did the graduates receive prior to taking on their tasking?
The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety) ( 15:17 :11 ): I thank the honourable member for his question. I am happy to take components of that question on notice. What I will say, though, is generally I am advised, and have been on a couple of occasions now, by SAPOL (including the police commissioner himself) that this program of employing law graduates to police prosecuting positions so far looks as though it has been rather effective.
There is a review in place to assess how that program has gone, but only lately I have been informed that this has been quite a good step by SAPOL. I have even had a chance to talk face to face to people within the prosecutions branch, just to get a sense of how they think it is operating. As I said, the police commissioner is undertaking a review into this, and of course that will give more certain outcomes as to the success or otherwise of this endeavour.
Regarding the specific training, of course being law graduates, presumably they would have a degree of law training through their law degrees. This is something that isn’t necessarily the case for people within the police prosecutions branch otherwise. At this point in time, I am not aware of whether or not people who go into SAPOL in this capacity have completed their GDLP, or if they are people who have just done their law degree or not—I’m not sure. Presumably, though, if they have done their GDLP, there is a degree of practical training that is associated with that, as the honourable member would be well aware. I am happy to take the question on notice regarding whether or not there is any high-level specific training which is particularly practical orientated to the work that they will be undertaking in that role.See full session on Hansard