Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 2 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 425..
MR SPEAKER: Members, I remind you all that today is the sixth anniversary of the first sitting of this Legislative Assembly back in 1989.
Mr Kaine: And some of us are still surviving.
MR SPEAKER: Indeed, Mr Kaine.
Mr Moore: There is just a small handful of us who were there on that day.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (10.31): Mr Speaker, I present the Director of Public Prosecutions (Amendment) Bill 1995, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MR HUMPHRIES: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1990 to provide legal protection for the Director of Public Prosecutions in certain circumstances. From time to time, the Director of Public Prosecutions has to make decisions that arouse public debate. For example, there may be a public controversy about a decision to give undertakings not to prosecute, to discontinue criminal prosecutions or to refuse to appeal against the leniency of sentences imposed by the courts. It is in the public interest that the director be able to publicly state the reasons for doing so. In stating reasons for a decision, the director may have to refer to the evidence against an accused person and, in particular, cast doubt on the credibility of particular witnesses. This may leave the director open to defamation or other proceedings which would be difficult or impossible to defend without revealing sensitive information.