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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 October 2018) . . Page.. 4076 ..


They can make changes to either make processes run more smoothly or prevent complications in the future. For example, there is the adjusting of language to clarify that the issuer of a warrant is the magistrate, not the Magistrates Court, under the Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005. This change not only brings the child sex offenders provisions into line with other acts, but also avoids the confusion of vesting the power in a thing rather than in a properly designated person.

Similarly, extending the power to issue warrants under the Confiscation of Criminal Assets 2003, the Crimes Act 1900, the Crimes (Surveillance Devices) Act 2010 and the Drugs of Dependence Act 1989 to associate judges of the Supreme Court as well as appointed judges increases the capacity of that court in an area where timeliness and access are vitally important.

Another seemingly small but important change is to the Magistrates Court Act to remove an anomaly in procedure for transferring matters from the Magistrates Court to the Supreme Court. Specifically, where a person has been committed for trial under a main offence, and also with related or back up offences, the current legislation does not allow for all of the offences to be transferred and dealt with under one mechanism.

Lastly, the bill includes an increase in the value of a penalty unit from $150 to $160 for offences where penalties are calculated using these units. These are periodically reviewed and updated. This is an appropriate review. As usual, we sought consultation with the legal profession. As usual, we will support genuine technical amendments to improve justice procedures. The bill does that in several areas and we support this legislation.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (11.49): The Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill will improve the operation and efficiency of the criminal justice system here in the ACT. In moving these amendments here today, ACT Labor demonstrates its commitment to justice and community safety in the ACT. The measures will assist our courts, law professionals and enforcement agencies in coordinating and navigating the criminal justice system.

The bill makes amendments to a range of criminal laws. The changes will have a real-world impact on the people who are victims of crimes, on the people who are accused and are searched, and on the ability of police prosecutions and courts to do their jobs.

The bill features four changes that will assist the operation and efficiency of the criminal justice system. The bill clarifies that warrants under the Crimes (Sex Offenders) Act 2015 are issued by the magistrate. The change will help to avoid any unintended consequences that might arise from vesting power in the court. This change is an exercise in harmonisation, clarifying and simplifying the existing judicial system. It also ensures that the ability of the police to apply for time critical warrants when necessary is not unintentionally obstructed.

The bill makes changes to the powers of an associate judge to the Supreme Court. Associate judges will have powers to issue warrants under the relevant acts that are equivalent to those granted to judges. This change is consistent with other recent


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