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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 December 2021) . . Page.. 3943 ..

mental impairment and aligns the approach in the territory’s legislation with that of the Model Criminal Code and the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

This reflects that the ACT legislature indicated that ACT’s Criminal Code provisions were intended by to be based on the Commonwealth Criminal Code. It also reflects the approach of other Australian jurisdictions, all of which are based on the common law approach which provides for the defendant to bear both the evidential and legal burden to establish the mental impairment defence. The amendment will support community safety and justice for victims of crime.

Mr Assistant Speaker, I am confident that this bill will make important improvements to the administration and operation of the laws in the territory. As you can see from my remarks, they cover a broad range of areas but each of the improvements will make a worthwhile improvement to the operation of these laws and, therefore, make it easier for people to go about their business in the territory, whether they are very personal matters or whether they are more employment-related matters and all the others that I have referred to. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (11.59): I seek leave to move together amendments to this bill that were not circulated in accordance with standing order 178A.

Leave granted.

MR RATTENBURY: I move amendments Nos 1 to 4 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 4016]. I table a supplementary explanatory statement to the amendments.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (12.00): I note that the government’s amendments are to recognise a Supreme Court decision in R v Yeaman not so long ago. We will be supporting these amendments. Can I say we certainly, as Canberra Liberals, support the principle that precedent-setting case law should be accepted to be adopted, unless of course that superior court decision is appealed and overturned. So I certainly support that as an important part of the rule of law operating consistently and comprehensively in the ACT.

But I will say that it is disappointing to me—and I have spoken about this on several occasions—that when it comes to conflicting with the law of the superior jurisdiction, as in the commonwealth, this government seems quite happy to pass legislation that conflicts with a superior law. In this case, they are doing the appropriate thing.

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