Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . .
The third and final exception to the rule against double jeopardy arises from the Carroll case, which I mentioned earlier. The decision in that case was that a person could not be tried for an administration of justice offence, such as perjury, allegedly committed during the trial for the original offence where that prosecution would directly contradict the acquittal.
In the Carroll case the prosecution sought to prove that the accused lied when he said, "I did not kill the victim." The prosecution wanted to introduce evidence showing that the accused had, in fact, killed the victim in order to prove perjury. This evidence would directly contradict the finding of not guilty and the acquittal in the original trial and so was held to be effectively retrying the accused.
Again, this issue would arise very rarely. However the amendment is important as it is unjust for a person to avoid prosecution only because the evidence to be tendered for that prosecution is contrary to evidence relied on by that person for acquittal in another trial.
In conclusion, the right to not be tried or punished again for an offence for which a person has already been finally convicted or acquitted is enshrined in our human rights law. That right is explicitly engaged and limited by this bill. However the government is confident it has taken the least restrictive approach necessary to ensure that the validity of criminal trials and public confidence in the justice system are balanced with the rights of the accused.
The safeguards in the bill ensure it is only in the most serious of cases that exceptions to the rule against double jeopardy will be allowed and only where there is very good reason. I expect the provisions in this bill would be rarely used. Indeed, I hope the circumstances which warrant their use do not arise. But where such circumstances do arise this bill will provide a means of rectifying serious and unacceptable justices and so strengthen the integrity of our criminal justice system. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.
ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment Bill 2016 (No 2)
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—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Capital Metro, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (10.28): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
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