Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2534..
The placing of restrictions on evidence from counselling notes or questions about the sexual behaviour of complainants and like provisions in proceedings for sexual offences has the aim of protecting essential witnesses from unnecessary humiliation or distress. The approach adopted in this legislation is one the government believes is proportional and provides certainty for the parties involved in the trial.
The immunity strikes an appropriate balance between the right of the complainant to receive confidential and effective counselling and the right of a defendant to any evidence that might genuinely assist his or her case. I'm satisfied that this immunity is compatible with an accused's right to receive a fair trial.
The bill also contains some housekeeping amendments in schedules 1 and 2. After passage of this bill, part 2 of the act will deal only with children giving evidence by closed-circuit television. The new part 4 will contain all the law of evidence that applies to complainants in sexual offence proceedings, including the closed-circuit television provisions and updated provisions from part 10A of the Evidence Act 1971.
This bill places all the evidentiary provisions for sexual offence complainants in the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1991, as the Commonwealth Evidence Act 1995 precludes our inserting new provisions into the Evidence Act 1971. Part 3, providing the framework for all closed-circuit television evidence, is unaltered, except for the renumbering outlined in schedule 1.
There are also some consequential amendments to acts and regulations listed in schedule 2.
Mr Speaker, I commend this bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2003
Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.
Title read by acting clerk.
MR STANHOPE(Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for the Environment) (10.49): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
Mr Speaker, the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2003 is the eighth bill in a series of bills dealing with legislation within the Justice and Community Safety portfolio. The bill makes a number of substantive as well as technical amendments to portfolio legislation. The amendments are as follows.
Cooperatives Act 2002
On 19 November 2002 the Legislative Assembly debated and passed the Cooperatives