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Police Torts & Claims Against the Police

We Are Lawyers Specialising In Police Claims In Australia

The police can’t just do anything they want, even though sometimes it can feel that way. Like all of us, they are bound by the law.

Each State and Territory in Australia has a particular statute that governs what police are and are not allowed to do. For example:

  1. Police are only allowed to arrest you in limited circumstances. The deprivation of a citizen’s liberty is taken very seriously by the courts, and even if you have committed a minor offence, police may not be legally allowed to arrest you if they could simply serve a court attendance notice on you instead. If police don’t follow the lawful processes, then they may have committed an unlawful arrest;
  1. Police can only touch you or use force against you if it is necessary for them to do so to execute a lawful police power. If police use more force than is necessary, this is called excessive force, and it may constitute an assault and battery against you;
  1. Police can only strip search you in very limited circumstances. Illegal stop and search is taken very seriously by the Courts; and
  1. Police cannot maintain charges against you indefinitely. If it becomes clear you are innocent, those charges must be dropped. If police charge you with a crime you clearly didn’t commit, or target you without due cause or process, this may constitute a malicious prosecution.

If any of the above circumstances apply to you, you may be entitled to damages. As human rights lawyers in Australia, we specialise in these types of claims against the police, and we can help.

If the police have acted beyond the scope of their power, you may be able to sue them for damages. This is because police can’t just go around doing whatever they want, but in each State and Territory, there are laws that govern the powers of police and which place strict limits on that power.

For example, in NSW, the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 dictates the circumstances in which Police are allowed to arrest somebody, when they are allowed to use force (and how much force they are allowed to use), when they are allowed to touch somebody and when they are allowed to search somebody.

If you believe you have been treated unfairly by police, we can investigate this for you and let you know whether you are likely to succeed in a claim against the police.

Claims Against the Police We Can Help You With Include:


“I could not have been more fortunate or more pleased to have Peter Fam take on my case against an ‘establishment bully’. From the outset, Peter’s meticulous “take one careful step at a time” approach, instilled great confidence in me that we had an excellent chance to bring justice to my situation. Peter displayed an amazing ability to explain the nuances of my situation and to sincerely and effectively involve me in the decision along the way. His dedication to humanity, truth and integrity was clear, and undoubtedly had the ‘bully’ on the back foot. Thus, we had a very good outcome. Maat’s Method: Outstanding excellent service!”

Dr Georgina Hale MBBS FRACP PhD

“My experience with Peter Fam was nothing short of special. His approach was unique because he was able to provide a comprehensive understanding of my situation and recommend an action plan. Any lawyer can quote and reference the law, but Peter stood out to me because of his ability to speak in my language and reference the things that mattered to me. His communication was clear and his advice came with no pressure. He understood the importance of different stakeholders and how even a positive legal outcome could have the potential to impact some parties negatively. He had a truly objective approach to my situation and had the grounded energy i needed to redirect my attention to where it was needed most. More than anything, Peter restored my hope in humanity because at a time when i had lost hope in people, he was there to show me that there are still good, honest truthful people in the world that value doing whats right more than doing whats profitable. Thank you Peter”

Ali Mahfouz

“Peter was extremely helpful during a tricky court case and time. He supported me through navigating and settling with an incredible outcome. When dealing with the case, Peter was extremely professional but also sensitive to my emotions and feelings. Peter was very helpful in understanding specific nuances of the law to support my case. Through our interactions and the way he approached the situation, showed his integrity and authentic desire to support people. His work went beyond and above and I highly recommended his services. “


“My experience with Peter at Maat`s Method was a pleasant and positive one. Peter was caring, understanding and of a generous spirit…fulfilling a much needed service…administered with integrity…”

Carolyn Crowe

“Peter at Maat’s Method took on my human rights case against a large government agency and achieved a favorable outcome. Many other lawyers said it couldn’t be done however Peter’s dedication and effort made it happen. Peter is a great listener, honest, responsive and effective. I am exceptionally grateful that he was my lawyer.”

William Cartwright

“Peter helped me in a time of need. He was empathetic, supportive and professional from the first time we connected.

I contacted a number of lawyers who were more worried about payment, didn’t listen to my concerns and were cold and transactional. Peter felt like a friend from the start.

Peter very quickly understood my issue and provided logical advice and direction. He took the weight of the issue off my shoulders and became my voice and advocate – I felt like I could finally breathe in an extremely stressful situation.

Peter helped me achieve justice and I recommend him to everyone who needs legal advice. With Peter you get someone dedicated to your cause, someone who is truly independent and who will fearlessly stand up for justice and truth, no matter how big the opponent may be.

Thank you Peter.”

Nicole Turnbull - Director at Neon Shed

“I had the greatest pleasure and experience having such a wonderful and extremely knowledgeable Human rights lawyer Peter Fam assist me with a very difficult and complex situation.

Peter’s passion to promote awareness knowledge and discussion on matters about Human Rights is extraordinary.

He is compassionate considerate and was very supportive towards my case. He always found the time to communicate about my concerns and I found him extremely helpful,  especially when I had nowhere to turn.

I highly recommend Peter Fam as a Human Rights lawyer, his dedication and resilience are impeccable.”

Georgia Kotsias