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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 697..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Speaker, this Bill encompasses the first comprehensive review of civil issues relating to domestic violence in the Territory since the Australian Law Reform Commission's report in 1986. I believe that these amendments, together with the others previously introduced - and, in particular, I refer to the effect of protective orders on firearms - will not only make improvements to the practice and procedures to protect victims of domestic violence in the ACT but also ensure that the Territory remains in the vanguard with respect to domestic violence legislation. Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Community Law Reform Committee on both of its reports. This Bill is, in part, the product of those reports. I commend that work and, in particular, this Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope) adjourned.

MAGISTRATES COURT (AMENDMENT) BILL (NO. 2) 1998

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (11.20): Mr Speaker, I present the Magistrates Court (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1998.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

This Bill makes a number of amendments to the Magistrates Court Act 1930, consistent with the amendments made to the Domestic Violence Act 1986, implementing recommendations of Report No. 11 of the ACT Community Law Reform Committee. I will briefly mention the amendments effected by the Bill.

The Bill inserts a new provision in the Act which provides that a restraining order made under the Magistrates Court Act is to be valid where instead a protection order should and could have been made under the Domestic Violence Act, and vice versa. The rationale for this is that the court always has jurisdiction to make a protective order under either the Domestic Violence Act or the Magistrates Court Act, regardless of the nature of the relationship which exists between the parties.

The Bill amends section 198 of the Act to enable the Community Advocate to apply for a restraining order on behalf of an aggrieved person who is either a child or a person who is under a disability. In addition, section 200 of the Act is amended to provide that, where the applicant is the Community Advocate, the person for whom protection is sought should be a party to the proceedings. Section 206P of the Act is revised to replicate the provisions dealing with the publication of reports and proceedings now included in the domestic violence legislation. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope) adjourned.


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