Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 22 February 2018) . . Page.. 576 ..

will lead to a saving in court time and make performance of this civic duty more convenient and more inclusive for jury members.

The amendments to the Supreme Court Act 1933 in this bill will help the court to better manage its caseload and recognise the expanded role of the associate judge. Currently, the jurisdiction of the associate judge is specified in the Court Procedures Rules. This bill sets out in statute that the associate judge may exercise the jurisdiction of the court that is exercisable by a single judge other than for a trial on indictment or a matter before the Court of Appeal. This will provide clear statutory authority for the associate judge to take on and resolve a wider range of matters.

The final group of amendments in this bill that I will outline relates not only to the courts but to any occasion where a person takes an oath or an affirmation. Changes to the Oaths and Affirmations Act 1984 will better reflect the ACT’s diverse population and make oaths and affirmations more consistent across the statute book. The amendments mean the oath can be adapted by the person taking the oath. For example, the amendments will allow a person to promise rather than swear the oath, and to name a god recognised by the person’s religion rather than “Almighty God”. Instead of saying, “So help me, God,” a person will be able to use a similar expression recognised by that person’s religion. The intention is to be more inclusive and respectful of cultural and religious beliefs while still preserving the solemnity and the legal effect of the oath or affirmation.

Today I have given examples of the ways that this bill will improve the administration of justice in the territory and support our courts and our tribunals. As members can see in the explanatory statement, the bill contains an extensive list of improvements. Each is the product of careful consultation with the courts, tribunal, and legal professionals. The Courts and Other Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 is an important piece of legislation that represents the government’s commitment to maintaining a timely, accessible and transparent justice system the ACT. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee


MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (10.23): I move:


(1) this Assembly refers to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in April 2018, the process for conducting the Citizens’ Jury on Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, including:

(a) how the subject was determined;

(b) procurement of the facilitators;

(c) selection of jurors;

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video