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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 20 September 2018) . . Page.. 3960 ..


usually the first person an alleged offender sees when they engage with the justice system. Enabling magistrates to work part time will support them in the performance of their duties in this demanding role.

Hopefully the territory can benefit from their services for longer periods as the magistrates reduce their work load as they approach retirement. This will also allow more experienced magistrates to pass on their knowledge by remaining in the workforce.

The legal profession of course has a reputation for requiring long and demanding hours. These changes will set an example at the top of the justice system for allowing flexible working arrangements. It will show that even in a busy environment such as the Magistrates Court a workplace can be agile enough to allow for part-time work.

The court and justice system more broadly will greatly benefit as it is well known that satisfied employees, people who feel that they have the right balance in their workplace, are likely to remain in the workplace longer, be healthier and be more productive. I hope this can serve as an example for the legal community and for Canberra workplaces more broadly.

The third set of amendments is largely technical in nature and relates to improvements to court legislation. Amendments to the Court Procedures Act will clarify the government’s arrangements for the statutory office of the principal registrar. The principal registrar is a key office that manages the administration of our courts and tribunals, and this bill will bring into line the governance provisions of the principal registrar with other statutory positions of the territory, including the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Solicitor-General.

Finally, the bill makes amendments to the statutory framework applying to the associate judge of the Supreme Court. Historically an associate judge was known as a master, whose role was confined to a limited set of civil matters. Unlike a judge’s term, the master’s term could be a seven-year appointment. Under existing legislation the government can appoint an associate judge either for seven years or until the age of 70. The bill removes the option of seven-year terms, and all future appointments to the role will be until the age of 70.

The ACT Greens are very pleased to support the bill. The important part of this is sending a signal that we value older workers and that there is both an ongoing role for them and the potential for a transition role, which are the sorts of practices we need to see in the workplace more generally.

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts and Cultural Events, Minister for Building Quality Improvement, Minister for Business and Regulatory Services and Minister for Seniors and Veterans) (4.36), in reply: I am pleased to speak in support of the Courts and Other Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (No 2). This government is committed to the continuous and holistic improvement of the justice system, and this bill contains amendments that, while relatively straightforward and simple, are no less important. In particular, the bill


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