Page 2845 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 1991

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Thursday, 15 August 1991


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR CONNOLLY (Attorney-General, Minister for Housing and Community Services and Minister for Urban Services) (10.31): Mr Speaker, I present the Magistrates Court (Amendment) Bill 1991. I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

This Bill amends the Magistrates Court Act 1930 and, with the Magistrates Court (Civil Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Bill 1991 and the Small Claims (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1991, makes amendments in relation to fees and charges under legislation regulating the Magistrates Court.

This Bill will allow a fee to be made per charge in a summons issued and require agencies other than the police and Director of Public Prosecutions to pay court fees. The Bill will extend the requirement that, on conviction, the defendant pay an amount equal to the amount of a fee that would have been paid by an officer of the police or the Director of Public Prosecutions to cover the case where a fee has been waived due to the informant being the recipient of legal aid, or where payment of the fee would have caused hardship. These amendments will put the Magistrates Court on a more realistic fee for service basis.

The Bill will provide for the exemption from payment of a fee in relation to a matter under Part X of the Act. Part X deals with restraining orders, so the amendment will complement existing domestic violence legislation. It would obviously be inappropriate for fees in relation to restraining orders under the DVO legislation. In future, fees under the Act will be set by ministerial determination. This approach brings the Act into line with Territory drafting practice and will allow for greater flexibility in the movement of fees, although, of course, such fees would be disallowable by this Assembly. I present the explanatory memorandum for the Bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned.

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