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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (3 August) . . Page.. 3293..


Bill agreed to.

Crimes (Sentencing) Bill 2004

Exposure draft

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (10.50): For the information of members I present an exposure draft and explanatory statement for the Crimes (Sentencing) Bill 2004. I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Currently our legislation dealing with sentencing law is contained in 12 different acts and a number of subordinate laws. The current diverse sources of sentencing law reflect the disjointed manner in which sentencing law has been made over the years in the ACT. These diverse sources fail to provide easy access to the statutory provisions relating to the principles and procedures of sentencing. This contributes to a risk of error in sentencing decisions and makes it difficult to ensure a consistent approach to sentencing issues.

The government committed to reviewing sentencing procedures and the criteria used by the judiciary when setting sentences. In early 2002 a full sentencing review was announced and the sentencing review committee was formed shortly thereafter. The purpose of the committee was to formulate direction and provide advice to the Department of Justice and Community Safety. In September 2002 an issues paper was published and nine submissions were received. Further consultation with key stakeholders resulted in two more written submissions and a number of oral submissions. The consultation to date has modelled the direction taken by my government. I am very pleased today to table the Crimes (Sentencing) Bill as an exposure draft and would like to briefly highlight the major changes and initiatives proposed in the bill.

Overall the bill deals with sentencing principles and policy. The objects of the Crimes (Sentencing) Bill include the promotion of respect for the law and the maintenance of a just and safe society; provision of a range of sentences suitable for the appropriate punishment and rehabilitation of offenders; maximisation of the opportunity for imposing sentences that are constructively adapted to individual offenders; the promotion of flexibility in sentencing by providing for combination sentences; and the consolidation of the statutory law relating to the imposition of sentences.

The proposed objects of the bill draw upon traditional sentencing principles to ensure that the offender is adequately punished for the offence in a way that is just and appropriate; to prevent crime by deterring the offender and other people from committing the same or similar offences; to protect the community from the offender; to promote the rehabilitation of the offender; to make the offender accountable for his or her actions; to denounce the conduct of the offender; and to recognise the harm done to the victim of the crime and to the community.

The bill includes new orders that formalise the "Griffiths"remands or bonds currently used by the courts. Frequently the courts provide opportunities for offenders who have


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