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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2535..


Thursday, 18 June 2009

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.01): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 amends a number of laws administered by the Department of Justice and Community Safety that effect the operation of the criminal justice system.

Some of the amendments serve to enhance the implementation of the raft of reforms that were introduced in the Sexual and Violent Offences Legislation Amendment Act 2008 to better address protections for the victims of sexual and violent offences, while other amendments serve to enhance the implementation of the reforms to the committal system contained in the Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2008. These two pieces of legislation commenced operation on 30 May 2009. The process of implementing the legislation has enabled stakeholders to focus on the detail of the process and highlight areas where we can make further refinements to continue to support the policy decisions taken through these important reforms.

In relation to the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1991, the Sexual and Violent Offences Legislation Amendment Act 2008 introduces special measures for victims of sexual assault and goes further to include victims of violent offences, making it less stressful and traumatic for them to give their evidence in court proceedings. It also delivers similar measures to other vulnerable people where the interests of justice require it. The main purpose of this act is to minimise the potential revictimisation that can be experienced by victims of sexual and violent offences when they interact with the criminal justice system.

My department has been working closely with key stakeholders to implement the Sexual and Violent Offences Legislation Amendment Act 2008, and a number of concerns relating to the practical operation of provisions in that act have been raised during this process.

Consequently, a number of amendments to the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1991 are necessary to ensure that the amendments made to the act by the Sexual


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