Commonwealth Consolidated Acts

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Search warrants by telephone, fax etc.

Application for warrant

  (1)   An inspector may apply to a judge of the Federal Court by telephone, fax or other electronic means for a warrant under section   135Z in relation to premises if the inspector believes on reasonable grounds that the delay that would occur if an application were made in person would frustrate the effective execution of the warrant.

Voice communication

  (2)   The judge may require communication by voice to the extent that it is practicable in the circumstances.


  (3)   Before applying for the warrant, the inspector must prepare an affidavit of the kind mentioned in paragraph   135Z(2)(a).

  (4)   If it is necessary to do so, the inspector may apply for the warrant before the affidavit has been sworn.

Signing of warrant

  (5)   If the judge is satisfied:

  (a)   after considering the terms of the affidavit; and

  (b)   after receiving such further information (if any) as the judge requires concerning the grounds on which the issue of the warrant is being sought;

that there are reasonable grounds for issuing the warrant, the judge may complete and sign the same warrant that the judge would issue under section   135Z if the application had been made under that section.


  (6)   If the judge completes and signs the warrant, the judge must inform the inspector, by telephone, fax or other electronic means, of:

  (a)   the terms of the warrant; and

  (b)   the day on which and the time at which the warrant was signed.

Form of warrant

  (7)   The inspector must then complete a form of warrant in the same terms as the warrant completed and signed by the judge, stating on the form the name of the judge and the day on which and the time at which the warrant was signed.

Completed form of warrant to be given to judge

  (8)   The inspector must also, not later than the day after the day on which the warrant ceased to be in force or the day of execution of the warrant, whichever is the earlier, send to the judge:

  (a)   the form of warrant completed by the inspector; and

  (b)   the affidavit referred to in subsection   (3), which must have been duly sworn.


  (9)   The judge must attach to the documents provided under subsection   (8) the warrant signed by the judge.

Authority of warrant

  (10)   A form of warrant duly completed under subsection   (7) is authority for the same powers as are authorised by the warrant signed by the judge.

  (11)   If:

  (a)   it is material, in any proceedings, for a court to be satisfied that an exercise of a power was authorised by this section; and

  (b)   the warrant signed by the judge authorising the exercise of the power is not produced in evidence;

the court must assume, unless the contrary is proved, that the exercise of the power was not authorised by such a warrant.

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