Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 26 June 2008) . . Page.. 2027 ..
setting out the formal requirements such a document must take. The bill proposes that a person making a statement in the ACT would be required to acknowledge in writing that they may be liable to prosecution if the statement is tendered in evidence and they are found to have lied. As the criminal law consequences of a false statement made to a court are equivalent under either process, this appears to be an appropriate change.
The bill amends the Supreme Court Act to give effect to a recent High Court decision regarding the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal. When the Supreme Court exercises appellate jurisdiction, it is known as the Court of Appeal. Part 2A of the Supreme Court Act sets out the court’s appellate jurisdiction. It provides that orders of the court, including convictions, may be appealed. The High Court, in R v Hillier, has given part 2A a broad definition, in line with its counterparts in other jurisdictions. To reflect the terms of this decision, part 2A has been amended to be consistent with other jurisdictions, and explicitly provides that an appeal against conviction: must be allowed if the verdict of the jury is unreasonable or cannot be supported; and must be allowed if the order was wrong in law or a miscarriage of justice; but may be dismissed, even if a point might be decided in favour of an appellant, as long as no substantial miscarriage of justice has actually occurred.
Finally, the Director of Public Prosecutions Act has been amended to allow the DPP’s non-legal practitioner staff to appear on the DPP’s behalf in the call-over list. The call-over list is the process by which the registrar liaises with the DPP and the defence counsel to determine an appropriate date for proceedings to commence. This amendment is consistent with the Magistrates Court practice directions released in 2007, which permit a DPP paralegal to represent the DPP in the call-over list, while the prosecutor appears in matters before the Magistrates Court. Permitting non-legal practitioner staff to appear in the call-over list allows for more efficient use of the court and the DPP’s time and resources, freeing prosecutors to work on technical legal matters. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.
Statute Law Amendment Bill 2008
Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.41): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
This bill makes statute law revision amendments to ACT legislation under guidelines for the technical amendments program approved by the government. The program provides for amendments that are minor or technical and non-controversial. They are generally insufficiently important to justify the presentation of separate legislation in each case and may be inappropriate to make as editorial amendments in the process of republishing legislation under the Legislation Act 2001. The program is implemented by presenting a statute law amendment bill in each sitting of the Legislative Assembly