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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1873..


MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I have pleasure in presenting the terms of reference for the review of therapeutic protection orders, Children and Young People Act 1999.

Therapeutic protection orders are highly intrusive orders that entitle welfare authorities to confine a young person to prevent self harm or harm to others in order to provide a particular treatment or therapy under the Children and Young People Act 1999. The legislation recognises that the type of action the chief executive of the Department of Education and Community Services may take when providing therapeutic protection for a child or young person includes restricting exit from a place, using reasonable force, personal searches, close or constant supervision, and restriction on contact.

The act requires the minister to review the operation of the act in relation to therapeutic protection to determine whether therapeutic protection is being provided in appropriate cases and appropriate ways and to evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic protection orders.

The chief executive of the Department of Education and Community Services has not commenced any such applications. Other parties, including the Children's Magistrate, have raised whether such an order should be sought. On each occasion there was insufficient evidence produced to support an application for therapeutic evidence, with the court accepting that less intrusive strategies should be utilised.

The chief executive, in anticipation of and in preparation for the making of such an order, has commenced arrangements to ensure that adequate structures and proper financial resources are available. These resources would be provided in circumstances where this type of order was deemed to be in the best interests of the child or young person. I commend the terms of reference to members.

Court Security Bill 2000

Detail stage

Debate resumed from 1 May 2001.

Clauses 1 to 4, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 5.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (3.39): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 2, part 1, at page 1973]. Mr Speaker, as it is some time since we debated the in-principle stage of this bill, it is appropriate that I briefly provide the context to this amendment and other amendments that I will be moving.

During the in-principle debate I said that the Labor Party believes that the courts must be secure places. It is well recognised that the courts are one of the fragile cornerstones of our democracy. The judicial arm of government is an important check and balance on the executive and the legislature. The judiciary is required, by and large, to operate in the full view of the public. We had this sort of debate yesterday and I think we need to take further the relationship between the different arms of government.


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