Ensure that an effective official investigation takes place:

  • where there is an allegation of the use of lethal force by government authorities or (in some circumstances) by a private party;
     
  • where a person dies in circumstances that imposed an obligation on a public authority to protect the person’s life (for example, where a person was in state custody or because the state knew or should have known that a person’s life was at risk); and
     
  • where a person dies in circumstances in which government authorities are alleged to have been negligent.
     

Refer to the discussion for what is required for there to be an ‘effective’ investigation.


When developing policy about law enforcement, provide:
 

  • the appropriate level of training required to ensure only adequately trained and qualified law enforcement officers are authorised to use force that is appropriate for their powers;
     
  • the type of training that is necessary to ensure that law enforcement officers are aware of a number of techniques that minimise the risk to another individual;
     
  • clear procedural safeguards outlining to law enforcement officers what steps they are required to take before using lethal force.
     

If you are developing policies or programs relating to the management of persons in state care, establish:

  • best practice guidelines that promote the health and safety of individuals in the care of state agencies, including best practice guidelines that will enable a timely response to medical emergencies;
     
  • procedures that enable those responsible for the care of individuals to be able to respond to concerns about the health and safety of individuals promptly;
     
  • clear procedural safeguards to ensure that decisions about the health and safety of individuals are made by staff at an appropriate level and that there is sufficient oversight of those decisions;
     
  • regular reviews of these procedures.


When developing policy regarding access to medical treatment ensure that:
 

  • the criteria for determining whether individual patients are able to access certain treatment are based on sound clinical reasons.
     

To comply with the Charter obligations specifically regarding the withdrawal of medical treatment, ensure that:

  • there are non-arbitrary procedures in place regarding any decision to withdraw medical treatment;
     
  • there are clear procedural safeguards to ensure that any decision to withdraw medical treatment is made at an appropriate level and that there is sufficient oversight of those decisions;
     
  • there are safeguards to ensure that individuals and families affected by a decision to withdraw medical treatment are adequately informed and consulted over the decision.