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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3717..

Crimes legislation

Papers and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs): I present the following papers:

Crimes (Sentence Administration) Bill 2004-

Exposure draft.

Explanatory statement to the Exposure draft.

Crimes (Sentencing Legislation) Consequential Amendments Bill 2004-

Exposure draft.

Explanatory statement to the Exposure draft.

I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Currently, legislation dealing with sentencing law is contained in 12 different acts and a number of subordinate laws. The current diverse sources of sentencing law reflect the piecemeal manner in which it has developed and fail to provide easy access to the statutory provisions relating to the principles and procedures of sentencing. That contributes to a risk of error from sentencing decisions and makes it difficult to ensure a consistent approach to sentencing issues. The government is committed to reviewing sentencing procedures and the criteria used by the judiciary when setting sentences.

In early 2002 a full sentencing review was announced and the sentencing review committee was formed shortly thereafter. The purpose of that committee was to formulate direction and to provide advice to the Department of Justice and Community Safety. In September 2002 an issues paper was published and nine written submissions were received. Further individual consultation with key stakeholders resulted in two additional written submissions and a number of oral submissions. To a large extent the submissions that were received have modelled the direction taken.

Today I am pleased to table as exposure drafts the remaining exposure drafts of the government's sentencing reform package. The package consolidates the legislation of two bills, the Crimes (Sentencing) Bill that I tabled on 2 August and the bill that is being tabled today, namely, the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Bill. As a result of the introduction of this reform package a number of consequential amendments are also required and these are contained in the Crimes (Sentencing Legislation) Consequential Amendments Bill 2004.

I would like, briefly, to highlight the major changes and initiatives proposed in the sentencing reform package. Firstly, the two main bills, as is indicated by their titles, divide the laws relating to sentencing into two categories-those dealing with sentencing principles and policy in the Crimes (Sentencing) Bill and those dealing with the administration of sentences in the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Bill.

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