House Passes DNA Bill

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting.

Story Highlights

  • The House of Representatives, on Tuesday (Nov. 17), passed the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Evidence Act with four amendments.
  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, piloted the Bill, which is a critical weapon in the fight against crime.
  • The DNA Bill is the third major piece of path-breaking legislation that has been put forward by the Ministry of National Security in the last three years.

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday (Nov. 17), passed the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Evidence Act with four amendments.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, piloted the Bill, which is a critical weapon in the fight against crime.

It  provides for the compulsory taking of DNA samples from suspects and convicted persons.

The Bill outlines and establishes procedures for collection, retention and preservation of DNA samples, provides for the destruction or the retention of DNA profiles, and also establishes offences and penalties for breaches of the Act.

These include falsifying any profile, swapping DNA samples or DNA profile with intent to deceive, and tampering with a container or package containing DNA samples of profiles.

The legislation also provides for the keeping, maintaining, and operating of a consolidated forensic DNA databank, to be known as the National DNA Register, for the purposes of forensic investigation and human identification.

The DNA Bill is the third major piece of path-breaking legislation that has been put forward by the Ministry of National Security in the last three years.

The other pieces of legislation are the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions) (Special Provisions) Act 2013, popularly known as the Anti-Lottery Scam and the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) 2014 Act, otherwise called the Anti-Gang Legislation.

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