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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1030..


MR QUINLAN

(continuing):

Let me assure you that, once the system is changed-given that we have now got these modern things called "computers", which can do a lot of stuff repetitively and you only have to tell them once how to do it-this will not represent a huge workload in the actual application.

MR PRATT

: Why are you introducing this new system, given that you have not really modelled it? Do you really know what those extra costs are going to be?

MR QUINLAN

: Yes, I do. I have given you my assurances that I understand it. I have discussed it with Treasury. Yes, the system will take some effort to put together. In fact, we will be introducing the system this year with a view to it being applied next year, so that we have a full year for the Assembly to digest it and for the public to know about it.

But in terms of ongoing operation, no, I do not know. The input and the information in the rating system now is sufficient to do what needs to be done. Where you have made your mistake is that something that is slightly different from what we have got know to you is complex. It is not a complex system; it is a very simple system. Have a look at it and think about it. You will get your head around-you will, if you try.

Model litigant guidelines

MRS CROSS: My question is to the Attorney-General. Minister, in response to question on notice No 153 on 7 May last year from Ms Dundas, you said:

I have instructed the Department of Justice and Community Safety to prepare draft model litigant guidelines which will apply to the conduct of legal proceedings on behalf of the territory and its agencies. Those guidelines will be similar, although not identical, to the model litigant rules adopted by the Commonwealth.

Minister, at what stage of development are these guidelines, and has there been any public consultation in their development?

MR STANHOPE

: Thank you, Mrs Cross, for the question. I am able to advise you that at the moment there are no formal model litigant rules or guidelines for the conduct of an ACT government legal proceeding. However, the ACT Government Solicitor and its staff are well aware of the principle of the government acting as model litigant. As you indicated, I have instructed the Department of Justice and Community Safety to prepare draft model litigant guidelines which will apply to the conduct of legal proceedings on behalf of the territory and its agencies, and those guidelines will be similar, although I am advised at this stage not identical, to the model litigant rules adopted by the Commonwealth.

I have been advised that the Department of Justice and Community Safety will shortly circulate draft guidelines to other agencies for comment and, following those comments being received, the department will seek the government's approval as to the content and implementation of the guidelines. Some agencies, I am told, already have guidelines in place-for instance, the Director of Public Prosecutions has guidelines by which prosecutions are assessed and tried in court. Those guidelines are contained in the DPP annual report.


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