Arlene Harrison Henry
Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry has expressed concern about provisions in the bill to set up the National Identification System (NIDS) which will allow the police to seek a court order to access persons' information.
The National Identification and Registration Act allows the Police Commissioner to make an ex parte application to the court, meaning without the presence of all the parties involved.
However, Mrs Harrison Henry wants neutral counsel to be a part of those hearings, since the person whose identity information is being revealed would not be present for the proceedings and would be "virtually defenceless" and put "at a disadvantage."
The Mrs Harrison Henry also raised concern about information which would be collected under the bill to establish a person's identity.
She contended that a photograph, date of birth, name and signature should be enough, as other material such as the name of one's spouse, primary place of residence and other places of residence appear to be "intrusive".
She called a review of the "extent of that reach of the law into areas that we regard as being protected by our free standing privacy provision in the constitution and bolstered by other constitutional provisions."