18 October 2014


The latest annual report [PDF] by the Inspector-General of Intelligence & Security (IGIS) under s 35 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 (Cth) is now online.

The report states
Under the IGIS Act, the IGIS can conduct a formal inquiry into a matter based on a complaint, of the IGIS’s own motion, or in response to a ministerial request. The Act establishes certain immunities and protections and provides for the use of strong coercive powers in such inquiries. These include the power to compel the production of information and documents, to enter premises occupied or used by a Commonwealth agency, to issue notices to persons to attend before the IGIS to answer questions relevant to the matter under inquiry, and to administer an oath or affirmation when taking evidence.
When coercive powers are used, the IGIS Act provides protections to people who have given the OIGIS information. Those compelled to give information are protected from any penalty under Commonwealth or Territory law that would ordinarily arise from disclosing that information. The responsible minister is advised when the IGIS begins an inquiry into a particular agency, and is also advised of any conclusions or recommendations arising from the inquiry. 
The IGIS also provides opportunities for ministers, agency heads and affected individuals to comment during the course of an inquiry. During 2013–14 I completed three inquiries that were carried over from the previous reporting period. Details of these are set out below. A new inquiry was initiated following on from one of these inquiries and remained open at the end of the reporting period. I will report on my conclusions and recommendations from this inquiry in my annual report for 2014–15.
Inquiry into the attendance of legal representatives at ASIO interviews
The 2012–13 Annual Report noted the progress of an inquiry following a complaint alleging ASIO officers had made arbitrary decisions regarding the attendance of legal representatives at security assessment interviews. My preliminary inquiries identified some inconsistencies between ASIO records and those of the complainant, as well as potential communication issues between ASIO and Immigration. Consequently, I decided to initiate an inquiry into the specific complaint, and to matters relating to ASIO interviews more broadly.
In conducting the inquiry, I considered a range of ASIO policy documents and records, including records of interviews other than those in the original complaint, and interviewed a number of ASIO staff. I also obtained statements from several legal representatives who had attended, or attempted to attend, ASIO interviews with their clients.
I found that ASIO’s internal guidance was both sound and appropriate, and does not preclude the attendance of legal representatives at ASIO interviews. However, ASIO has discretion not to interview a person in the presence of a particular lawyer if it believes the presence of the lawyer would be counterproductive to the conduct of the interview. As such, I concluded that the attendance of legal representatives should be considered on a case-by-case basis, with the default position to allow such attendance.
I found that the attitudes of individual officers, combined with the process established by ASIO and Immigration to arrange interviews, strongly discouraged the attendance of legal representatives. In addition, ASIO differentiated between legal representatives and migration agents, precluding migration agents from attending interviews altogether.
This inquiry led to a number of recommendations. Specifically, ASIO should: u work with Immigration to ensure arrangements for visa security assessment interviews facilitate the attendance of legal representatives u improve training in, and staff awareness of, internal policy relating to the potential presence of lawyers at visa security assessment interviews u clarify the status of any third party wishing to attend a visa security assessment interview to ascertain if they are the interviewee’s legal representative, and further consider affording migration agents the same status as lawyers, with their attendance being addressed on a case-by-case basis u improve guidance to officers in relation to undertakings of confidentiality. ASIO agreed to these four recommendations. I also noted in the report that, in my view, visa applicants should be clearly advised that interviews with ASIO are voluntary. A fifth recommendation was made to adjust the current guidance for staff. This recommendation and some supporting text was afforded a national security classification by ASIO and cannot be publicly released. ASIO agreed, in part, to this recommendation. The inquiry report is classified but a public abridged version is available on the IGIS website. 
At the end of the reporting period ASIO provided advice about the implementation of the recommendations:
  • In March 2014, after consultation between ASIO and Immigration, the advice provided by Immigration to visa security assessment interviewees was revised to state that the interviewee is entitled to bring a legal representative. 
  • ASIO has updated guidance to staff, training and policies relating to visa security assessment interviews. In particular, shortly after the end of the reporting period ASIO finalised a policy on visa security assessment interviews. Training and guidance to staff now reflect the policy position that visa security assessment interviews should commence without efforts to discourage the attendance of a legal representative. 
  • ASIO’s new policy and training requires interviewing officers to clarify the role of a third party seeking to attend a visa security assessment interview to ascertain whether they are the interviewee’s legal representative. The presence of migration agents at a visa security assessment interview is considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Revised guidance about confidentiality undertakings addresses the concerns raised in the inquiry.
Inquiry into the management of the case of Mr E
Last year I commenced an inquiry at the then Prime Minister’s request into the way that the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Immigration and ASIO handled the case of a particular Egyptian asylum seeker, ’Mr E’, who presented complex security issues and, more generally, the management by Australian government agencies of complex security cases.
The purpose of the inquiry was not to establish whether the identified individual posed a threat to security but rather to look at whether the relevant agencies had, and followed, appropriate procedures to identify, assess and manage any such threat.
I completed this inquiry and provided the report to the Prime Minister in January 2014. The inquiry report is classified but a public abridged version is available on the IGIS website.
The inquiry found that, although ASIO held information that might have caused it not to clear the individual for community detention, ASIO’s security assessment processes at that time did not include consideration of that information. Different areas of ASIO dealt with the potential match to alerts connected to the Interpol red notice and the community detention checks, and the two areas did not communicate effectively with one another.
Immigration lacked awareness of the types of security checks ASIO conducted and it is not clear that relevant ministers received advice about the rigour of the checks. Within ASIO, guidance provided to staff was inadequate. Operational staff misunderstood the intentions of ASIO’s senior executive and the process of checks conducted differed from that approved by the ASIO executive.
The inquiry found that Immigration made decisions on detention arrangements without a full appreciation of all relevant information. The AFP gave advice to Immigration over a period of time but there was no formal framework for such advice. Information held by separate parts of Immigration was not shared or interpreted consistently. ASIO provided no information to help Immigration assess or manage any detention risks.
The inquiry also found deficiencies in recordkeeping, particularly in Immigration. Key procedures and arrangements between mmigration and ASIO were not well documented. The report made a number of recommendations, primarily to Immigration. In summary these were:
  • u Immigration and ASIO should continue to build on recent improvements in implementing a coordinated approach to resolving potential matches to national security alerts and document agreed procedures. 
  • Immigration should develop procedures to ensure that the AFP is promptly notified of alerts for Interpol red notices. Immigration should continue to explore the feasibility of an automated system with the AFP. 
  • Immigration should access all relevant information in assessing the identity of an individual in cases that may involve national security issues and formalise arrangements to obtain identity resolution advice from the AFP. 
  • Immigration should review its procedures for conducting risk assessments in cases involving national security to ensure that those undertaking the assessment have access to relevant information and expertise, including from ASIO and the AFP. 
  • Immigration should ensure proper records are retained of a decision to place a person in a particular form of immigration detention on the basis of security concerns. 
  • Immigration and ASIO should ensure that, in the small number of cases where there are potentially national security issues, all relevant information is taken into account by Immigration when making immigration detention management decisions.
Significant changes were initiated in ASIO and Immigration prior to this case becoming a matter of public discussion. By the time this inquiry was finished, ASIO and Immigration had introduced considerably more robust security checking processes prior to community detention or the issue of bridging visas, and ASIO had published guidance for staff on how to do the checks and escalate and resolve concerns. Immigration had established a team to identify and oversight national security and serious criminality cases.
At the end of the reporting period the agencies advised me of their progress on implementing the inquiry recommendations. Immigration advised that coordination and collaboration between the Department, ASIO and the AFP had improved significantly. I was provided with details of actions taken and a copy of the Persons of interest placement operational procedures document, which guides staff regarding the placement of detainees who are of interest to law enforcement, intelligence and/or other agencies for criminal or national security matters. This document was developed in response to the inquiry recommendations.
ASIO notes that it continues to advise Immigration on significant emerging threat issues through providing adverse security assessments and discussing impending assessments where this would assist Immigration’s decision making on detention issues. Where ASIO holds information potentially relevant to Immigration’s consideration of a person’s overall visa suitability, a qualified visa security assessment may be issued. I was provided with a procedural document relating to security assessments for IMAs for whom Immigration is considering the grant or re-grant of a bridging visa, or for those being placed in community detention. This will provide formal guidance for officers in both agencies for handling referrals which potentially match national security alerts. 
The AFP advised that similar subsequent cases have seen the agency implement measures addressing the inquiry’s recommendations, including case management meetings to facilitate complete assessment and sharing of all available information among stakeholder agencies. Overall, all three agencies have made sound progress to strengthen communication and information-sharing between the agencies. Internal policies and procedures have been developed and documented to address the deficiencies highlighted in the inquiry report.
Inquiries into the use of weapons and self-defence techniques in ASIS
In April 2013, I commenced an inquiry into the use of weapons and self-defence techniques in ASIS. The inquiry was finalised in November 2013. The inquiry report is classified but an unclassified executive summary is available on the IGIS website.
The inquiry noted that overall ASIS had managed the training in and use of weapons and self- defence techniques well. Two breaches of the ISA occurred between 2004 and mid-2013, both involving the discharge of a firearm without appropriate prior approval. However, both incidents occurred within controlled weapons training environments and were not indicative of systemic issues. (I note elsewhere in this report that in the 2013–14 reporting period there were three further, similar breaches of the ISA relating to the unauthorised use of a firearm.) 
Two main concerns were identified by the 2013 inquiry. The first was in relation to delays in providing oleoresin capsicum spray and batons to some overseas Stations after this had been approved by the Minister on the basis that the weapons were necessary for the safety of staff. The inquiry found the delays were due primarily to the lack of central governance of weapons policy and procedures in ASIS. The second concern related to the consumption of alcohol. ASIS policy at the time required that a person with a blood alcohol content above zero must not be issued with or have carriage of a weapon. The inquiry found some staff misunderstanding in relation to this requirement and that ASIS did not have adequate controls in place to provide assurance that there was compliance with this requirement.
Six recommendations were made as a result of the inquiry, most relating to the governance of weapons policy and procedures in ASIS. ASIS accepted all the recommendations and by the end of the reporting period most had been implemented. A number of the recommendations were waiting on the release of revised ASIS Guidelines for the use of weapons and self-defence techniques to be fully implemented. The most significant of these guidelines are in relation to the consumption of alcohol and controls to ensure compliance. Shortly after the end of the reporting period revised Guidelines covering these issues were implemented.
In December 2013 a further more serious incident occurred overseas involving an allegedly inappropriate action by an officer of another Australian government agency towards an ASIS officer. A review of the incident confirmed that ASIS did not yet have adequate controls in place to provide assurance that a person with a blood alcohol content above zero would not be issued with or have carriage of a weapon. While no physical injury resulted, the incident had the potential to cause serious injury. ASIS’s investigation of the incident highlighted systemic issues. I was advised by the Director-General of ASIS that the investigation also revealed that there were inaccuracies in the information provided to me during the course of my 2013 inquiry. My review of the ASIS investigation report and interviews indicated other substantial discrepancies.
In June 2014, I initiated a further inquiry into the management of weapons by ASIS in that particular location to examine these issues and related matters and to review the findings of my 2013 inquiry report. Further details of the inquiry will be included in my 2014–15 annual report.

16 October 2014

Mental Health and Justice

The Victorian Auditor General's 94 page report on Mental Health Strategies for the Justice System [PDF], cited in the forthcoming book by Bonython & Arnold, comments
Good mental health is one of the foundations of a good life and a healthy society. The World Health Organisation broadly defines mental health as 'a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community'.
Almost 50 per cent of people aged 16 to 85 years will experience one or more mental illnesses—such as anxiety, mood and substance-use disorders—in their lifetime.
These illnesses can have significant impacts on individuals and their quality of life, including impairing their mental functioning and capacity to maintain relationships. They can also cause a person to come into contact with the criminal justice system. Rates of mental illness among people interacting with police, the courts and the corrections agencies are much higher than in the community generally.
A range of criminal justice agencies will often have to manage people with a mental illness:
Victoria Police provides initial response to incidents involving people with a mental illness. It intervenes by responding to incidents, and where necessary arresting and managing people with a mental illness in police cells.
The Magistrates' Court sentences offenders—including those with a mental illness—and aims to divert them from the criminal justice system where appropriate. 
The Department of Justice (DOJ), through Corrections Victoria and Justice Health, manages and treats prisoners with a mental illness while incarcerated, while on parole, and on corrections orders.
In addition, the Department of Health (DH) sets priorities and funds mental health services that treat and manage people in contact with the criminal justice system.
While these agencies operate independently, they rely on each other when dealing with people with a mental illness. Better practice research indicates that joint planning and coordination is required where policy issues span the responsibilities of more than one agency, where agencies' responsibilities are interdependent, or where coordinating services can reduce costs and increase quality for end users.
This audit examined the effectiveness of planning and coordination for mental health across Victoria's criminal justice system, as the foundation for effective responses to people with a mental illness.
The Auditor General concludes -
The increasing incidence of people living with a mental illness in the community means that justice and health agencies are experiencing significant challenges. There are increasing interactions between people with a mental illness and agencies within the criminal justice system, and a lack of capacity to adequately respond to and manage these needs. This is particularly evident for Victoria Police and for Corrections Victoria.
Justice and health agencies recognise the importance of addressing mental health issues within the criminal justice system. All have implemented initiatives that aim to improve outcomes, but significant gaps remain. In the face of the increasing incidence of people with a mental illness interacting with the criminal justice system, a whole‑of‑system approach is required.
There is currently no overarching strategy or leadership for mental health and the justice system that focuses on improving outcomes for people with a mental illness. Where plans do exist, they are limited to agencies' own areas of responsibility, or only address parts of the justice system.
While there is evidence of agencies working together, this is neither uniform nor sufficiently coordinated across the justice system to address mental illness effectively. Further collaboration and coordination would likely enhance the overall outcomes for people with a mental illness.
Responsibility for coordinating the agencies is unclear, and there is a lack of accountability for the success or failure of responses across the criminal justice system. This is likely to further limit the effectiveness of coordination, collaboration and planning, as actions rely on individual agencies, their relationships and their ability to take a system-wide perspective.
The lack of effective planning and collaboration is inconsistent with several major strategic statements from the health and justice portfolios since 2009. These identified that justice, mental health, disability and other services such as housing, must work closely together if better outcomes are to be achieved for people with a mental illness coming into contact with the justice system.
The Findings in the report are - 
Police response and arrest interventions
Victoria Police performs a critical role responding to people with a mental illness. Its role is at the 'front end', managing incidents caused by personal crisis, behaviour suggestive of mental disorder, or the effects of alcohol and other drugs.
The nature of Victoria Police's role in responding to people with a mental illness means that it routinely interacts with the health system, hospitals and DH. As such, both it and DH need to effectively collaborate and plan to maximise outcomes for people with a mental illness.
Until recently these agencies have focused planning in their own areas of responsibility. However, they are now working towards a joint plan to develop effective responses to mental illness. This has the potential to improve outcomes for people with a mental illness, whose interaction with mental health services results from their contact with police.
The level of inter-dependence between Victoria Police and DH necessitates effective collaboration and coordination. Since 2006, both agencies have sought to engage around mental illness, but have found it difficult to resolve issues and strategically collaborate. However, since 2012 Victoria Police and DH have both taken steps to strengthen their strategic engagement, and are working towards an agreed framework to oversee and address areas of inter-dependence.
Victoria Police and DH have longstanding mechanisms to support local communication and coordination between police, ambulance, area mental health services (AMHS) and hospital emergency departments. However, Victoria Police and DH will need to devote ongoing attention to ensure emergency services liaison committees (ESLC) are effectively maintaining local coordination.
Courts-based interventions
The Magistrates' Court hears criminal charges brought by police, makes findings in relation to guilt and makes sentencing orders. Courts may also obtain mental health assessments in considering criminal cases, particularly where an accused's mental illness may satisfy the criteria under relevant legislation.
The Magistrates' Court has successfully piloted specialist courts and programs to divert offenders with a mental illness to treatment, and address the causes of their offending. The specialist courts and programs play a key role by reducing rates of imprisonment.
However, there is no current plan guiding the development of the Magistrates' Court's specialist courts and support programs for people with a mental illness - including a framework describing the role these initiatives could play if they were extended beyond their current pilot locations to operate more widely across the Magistrates' Court's 12 major regional locations.
Prior to July 2014, DOJ provided policy, project and program management support, and led inter-agency communication around the Magistrates' Court's programs. DOJ's support enabled development of the Magistrates' Court's specialist courts and support programs for mental illness. From 1 July 2014, Court Services Victoria (CSV) has taken over responsibility for the Magistrates' Court's administrative and operating support, and management of specialist courts and support programs.
There is no agency-level forum in which DOJ, CSV, Victoria Police, DH and the Department of Human Services (DHS) are able to discuss strategic issues aimed at reducing offending and improving recovery of people with a mental illness in the criminal justice system.
Police custody and prison-based interventions
Holding offenders in custody provides an opportunity to both identify and treat mental health issues. When detained in police cells, individuals are in the legal custody of the Chief Commissioner of Police and Victoria Police provides health services as part of its custodial responsibility. Prison health services provide voluntary psychiatric consulting, nursing and inpatient treatment for prisoners with a mental illness. Under the Mental Health Act 2014 compulsory mental health treatment cannot be provided in prisons.
As offenders frequently move between police cells and prisons, effectively addressing their mental illness is complex. It requires effective collaboration between Victoria Police, DOJ, DH and other corrections service providers. However, there is no integrated plan for managing offenders with a mental illness who come into contact with these agencies. Previous plans to appoint a lead provider of health services across police, corrections and courts did not progress.
Justice Health and DH are now undertaking separate, but coordinated planning for prison mental health and wider mental health services. Justice Health is preparing for an additional 75 mental health beds for men in 2017. This planning comes as indicators of under-capacity within prison and compulsory mental health facilities have been apparent for several years and have now become extreme.
DOJ and DH have arrangements to communicate around mental health at an agency level. In particular, the agencies have well-established communication around mental health through the multi-agency Justice Health Joint Management Committee.
This coordination has helped Justice Health and DH to work closely from the inception of their inter-related planning projects. However, DOJ and DH have not clarified arrangements to ensure that decisions arising from each agency's planning are coordinated and address the current delays for prisoners with a severe mental illness requiring treatment.
Community supervision and prison transition interventions
Managing prisoners with a mental illness after release from prison, or offenders on community corrections orders, is challenging. Yet it can reduce the risk of reoffending. However, it requires the offender to actively engage in treatment or other programs, and for multiple agencies to work together.
There is, however, insufficient coordination of planning among the key agencies to support offenders with a mental illness released from prison. DOJ, DH and DHS operate and plan various support and housing programs. While the agencies are starting to work together, planning is not informed by a consistent framework of objectives, or of analysis of current and future demand.
Corrections Victoria, DH and DHS do not maintain regular agency-level contact around programs for community supervision and transition from prison. Consequently, this increases the risk that the agencies will miss opportunities to improve programs and services for people with a mental illness, or they could be unaware of changes that affect their ability to fulfil their accountabilities. This is particularly the case as Corrections Victoria, DH and DHS are involved in separate reforms that affect programs relevant to people with a mental illness.
The Auditor General makes the following recommendations
That Victoria Police and the Department of Health: enhance bilateral arrangements to improve collaboration and coordination between the two agencies improve governance weakness around local service coordination with the aim of improving accountability update their joint protocol to reflect recent legislative changes.
That Court Services Victoria: establishes a planning framework for the Magistrates' Court's specialist courts and support programs that considers ways to maximise their role and outcomes for offenders with a mental illness across the state establishes strategic relationships with justice, health and human services agencies to coordinate development of its specialist courts and support programs for people with a mental illness.
That Court Services Victoria, the Department of Justice and the Department of Human Services: review the provision of housing services to identify potential efficiencies and opportunities to improve effectiveness.
That the Department of Justice and the Department of Health: prepare a joint plan for mental health facilities inside and outside prisons to guide future funding bids.
That the Department of Justice: amends the terms of reference of the Justice Health Joint Management Committee to reflect its role as a forum for agency communication and coordination.
That Victoria Police: monitors and reports the time that prisoners with a mental illness are held in police cells before transfer to the prison system.
That the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services: establish arrangements to improve coordination, collaboration and planning across the three agencies review the range of post-release and community correction programs to identify opportunities for improved effectiveness and efficiency.
The report notes that  "two recommendations do not appear in the body of the report - they are directed at the criminal justice system as a whole"
That the Department of Justice, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Victoria Police and Court Services Victoria:
  • jointly contribute to the development of a strategy that includes processes for coordination, collaboration, apportioning responsibility and accountability, and monitoring system-wide performance 
  • provide advice to government about agency roles and responsibilities for system-wide planning, responses and performance monitoring.

Trade Secrets and TRIPS

'What exactly is a trade secret under the proposed directive?' by Nuno Sousa e Silva in (2014) Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice comments
Trade secrets have always been involved in commerce (the Silk Route being a prime example) but have only recently been directly regulated at an international law level (Section 7 of Part II of the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)). The national laws addressing them are often scattered and variegated.
Believing this to create hurdles in the internal market, on 28 November 2013 the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure. The notion of trade secrets contained in it is a carbon copy of Article 39 TRIPS, itself based on the US Uniform Trade Secret Act.
This article exploits that definition and the questions left unanswered. After providing a background to the current directive and analysing some national definitions and related terminology, the article focuses on four requirements: (1) information, (2) that is secret, (3) valuable due to its secrecy and (4) subject to reasonable steps to keep its secrecy. The possibility of additional requirements is scrutinized and rejected.

12 October 2014

Copyright and Cocoa

'Fetishizing Copies' by Jessica Litman in Copyright in An Age of Limitations and Exceptions (2015) edited by Ruth Okediji argues
The most important reason we have copyright laws is to encourage authors to create new works and communicate them to the public. The most important reason we want them to do that is because we hope that people will read the books, listen to the music, see the art, watch the films, run the software, and build and inhabit the buildings. That is the way that copyright promotes the Progress of Science. Recently, that not-very-controversial principle has collided with copyright owners’ conviction that they should be able to control, or at least collect royalties from, all uses of their works. That's never been true in fact or law, but representatives of copyright owners have gotten used to arguing that it should be true. A particularly ill-considered manifestation of this conviction is what I have decided to call copy-fetish. This is the idea that every appearance of any part of a work anywhere should be deemed a “copy” of it, and that every single copy needs a license or excuse, whether or not anyone will ever see the copy, whether or not the copy has any independent economic significance, whether or not the so-called copy is incidental to some other use that is completely lawful. In this chapter, I focus on two well-known instances of copy-fetish: the contention that any appearance of a work or part of a work in the random access memory of a computer or other digital device is an actionable copy, and the assertion that the copyright statute’s distribution to the public right encompasses possession of any copy that is publicly accessible. Both arguments have their inception in difficult-to-justify court of appeals decisions, which were then embraced by copyright owners as tools to expand secondary liability. Neither one makes much sense on its own terms. The political economy of copyright, however, makes it overwhelmingly likely that any comprehensive copyright revision bill will incorporate both of them. That makes it imperative to recognize readers’, listeners’ and viewers’ copyright liberties expressly, and to protect them with explicit statutory provisions.
'Geographical Indication (GI) Options for Ethiopian Coffee and Ghanian Cocoa' by Chidi Oguamanam and Teshager W. Dagne in J. De Beer, C Armstrong, C. Oguamanam, T. Schonwetter, eds) Innovation & Intellectual Property: Collaborative Dynamics in Africa (University of Cape Town Press, 2013) 77 outlines 
research into the Ethiopian coffee and Ghanaian cocoa industries that sought to determine the potential for the local communities and diverse stakeholders participating in the two industries to benefit from sui generis geographical indications (GIs). The research was premised on the notion that GIs have the potential to serve as instruments for practical adaptation of intellectual property (IP) to open development. It was found that the degree to which GIs could be successfully and sustainably used as tools of place-based intellectual property (PBIP) – i.e. instruments of origin-designation – for Ethiopian coffee and Ghanaian cocoa would likely depend on the economic implications of the establishment of GI modalities. The implementation of GIs involves a range of tasks, including establishment of legal and institutional structures; maintaining the “quality, reputation or characteristics” of the products; enforcing and defending rights; and developing product awareness in international markets (TRIPS, 1994). These tasks involve significant cost and effort that would need to be measured and weighed against the expected benefits.


Another incident of survivor fraud, with reports that 26 year old Australian woman Samantha Azzopardi (aka Aurora Hepburn) has again claimed to be a teenager who was a victim of prolonged sexual abuse.

Azzopardi reportedly "walked into a Calgary health centre on September 16 alleging she was a 14-year-old who was the victim of an abduction and prolonged sexual assault". She  allegedly told Canadian investigators she'd endured years of violent sexual abuse and torture. (She appears to have made a missing persons report about her fake identity).

Shortly thereafter
the Calgary Police Service was notified of a similar, world headline-making case investigated last year in Dublin.
After liaising with Irish authorities, it was determined the woman in Calgary was Azzopardi. Azzopardi is charged with public mischief to mislead a peace officer and faces up to five years' jail.
Due to her multiple aliases, Calgary police have released a photo of Azzopardi in the hope the public can provide information about her movements in Calgary.
Irish authorities last year also took the rare step of releasing her photo after she was found wandering Dublin streets and led Irish police to believe that she was a teenage sex-trafficking victim.
Azzopardi drew pictures apparently showing herself being raped, forcing Irish police to release the photo of her in a bid to find her identity.
Azzopardi was subsequently sent back to Australia, where she had a history of fraud-related charges.
It appears that Azzopardi previously posed as a teenage orphan and a cancer patient. The Brisbane Courier-Mail last year reported that
she was convicted in Brisbane Magistrates Court in September and October 2010 for charges relating to making false representations and forging documents and was fined $500.
In June last year she pleaded guilty in Perth Magistrates Court to offences relating to welfare fraud and was sentenced in October to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
Her life of fantasy included a claim to be a gymnast in one instance and to be born in France in another and her 40 aliases included the name Dakota Johnson.