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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 2..

The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petitions would be recorded in Hansard and a copy of each referred to the appropriate minister, the petitions were received.

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 37

MR SESELJA (Molonglo): I present the following report:

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee (performing the duties of a Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee)—scrutiny report 37, dated 12 February 2007, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MR SESELJA: Scrutiny report 37 contains the committee�s comments on nine bills, six pieces of subordinate legislation and eight government responses. The report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting.

For many years, the committee has expressed concern over the inclusion of strict liability clauses in legislation. In scrutiny report 38 of the Fifth Assembly the committee outlined in some detail its thoughts on how the issue might be approached, particularly under a bill of rights act. Of particular concern to the committee are strict liability provisions which provide for the imprisonment of individuals. The possibility of the imposition of a severe penalty such as imprisonment raises the issue of whether the derogation of the rights granted under section 22 of the Human Rights Act, including the right to a presumption of innocence, is justifiable under section 28 of that act.

Where legislation is to provide for imprisonment or other substantial penalty it is the committee�s view that the case for such a provision needs to be clearly and demonstrably made in the explanatory statement. In this way, the committee, and the Assembly as a whole, can make a judgment as to whether the clause is justified. I draw this matter to the attention of the Assembly and the government. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Land (Planning and Environment) Legislation Amendment Bill 2007

Mr Corbell, by leave, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning) (10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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