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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . . Page.. 1602..

Justice and Community Safety in implementing agreed recommendations from the Auditor-General's performance audit in 2005 which reviewed the efficiency and effectiveness of courts administration in the ACT and the recommendations of the Sixth Assembly's public accounts committee's inquiry into the 2005 performance audit. The committee received a briefing from the Auditor-General in relation to the audit report on 22 February 2011.

The committee reiterates previous comments it has made with regard to the importance of follow-up audits to assess whether agencies have addressed recommendations and findings arising from specific audits. This type of follow-up audit is an important exercise to inform the ACT Legislative Assembly on progress towards implementation of accepted recommendations.

The committee has resolved to make no further inquiries into the audit report. As the audit report assessed progress by JACS with regard to the efficiency and effectiveness of courts administration in the ACT, the committee believes that it may be of interest to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety as per its portfolio coverage. The committee has written to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety to bring the audit report to its attention.

Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2010

Debate resumed from 9 December 2010, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.31): The Canberra Liberals will be supporting elements of this bill in principle but I will be proposing amendments at the detail stage of the debate.

This bill aims to change the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court as well as establishing the family violence list as the family violence court and the Galambany court to administer circle sentencing. Generally, the Canberra Liberals support these last two measures, the family violence court and the Galambany court, but we do not support the government's proposal in relation to indictable offences.

The government's proposal in relation to indictable offences is of serious consideration for the Canberra Liberals, and the amendments that I have foreshadowed will achieve a quite different outcome from that contemplated in the government's bill. They will be simpler and have a far lower impact on the rights of accused people to be tried by jury, especially in relation to an accused's right to a jury trial. The government's bill has the principal objective of reducing the caseload burden in the Supreme Court and give it a chance to catch up on its backlog.

The government has not proposed the major changes in this bill for any purpose of delivering a benefit to the community. Indeed, they take away the rights and privileges of the community to the extent of the right to trial by jury for offences carrying penalties of up to five years imprisonment.

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