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Case Note

O’Brien v Gillies (1990) 1 NTLR 56

1. Case details

Parties: O’Brien; Gillies and Another

Court: Supreme Court of the Northern Territory

Judge: Angel J

Dates: 25 June, 31 July 1990

Catchwords: Police, Police powers, Juveniles, Whether police may take blood sample from a juvenile, Whether “material from the body” includes blood, Whether Juvenile Justices Act 1983 (NT) can be read with Police Administration Act 1978 (NT) – Expressio unius

Procedural history: First defendant refused the plaintiff’s request to take blood from the second defendant (a juvenile) on 18 April 1990. Plaintiff appealed decision. The judge delivered his pronouncement on 31 July 1990. Affirmed Narburup v O’Brien (1991) NTLR 63.

2. Material facts
FN, a juvenile, was in legal custody charged with an offence. O’Brien, a policeman, asked Gillies, the first defendant, a stipendiary magistrate, for approval to take a blood sample from FN pursuant to s 31(3)(b) of the Juvenile Justice Act 1983 (NT). Gillies refused the application, holding that he was not satisfied that blood was included in the description 'material from the body' . O’Brien consequently went to the Supreme Court to have Gillies’s decision re-examined (certiorari) and a writ issued commanding him to approve the taking of blood from the juvenile (mandamus).

3. Held

1.The words 'material from the body' include blood.
2.The Juvenile Justice Act 1983 is not a code —the sole repository of law relating to juveniles. 3.Section 145 of the Police Administration Act 1978 applies to juveniles. 4.The joint operation of s 31 of the Juvenile Justice Act 1983 and s 145 of the Police Administration Act 1978 empowers a magistrate to approve taking blood from a juvenile. 5.Taking blood from a juvenile must meet the requirements of both s 145 of the Police Administration Act 1978 and s 25 and s 31 of the Juvenile Justice Act 1983.

Ratio
There is nothing in s 31of the Juvenile Justice Act...
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