Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 March 2021) . . Page.. 739 ..
sentencing between 2013 and 2015, and additional consultation undertaken by the directorate in 2019 and 2020, there is support from stakeholders for the amendments. The amendments deal largely with improving clarity in the legislation, of which I am very supportive. As I have said before, we, as legislators, have an obligation to ensure that laws are clear, unambiguous and not in conflict with commonwealth legislation.
There is currently some ambiguity in the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act 2003 as to whether a person whose property is subject to such an order can apply to have property excluded. The amendments to this act will ensure that the unexplained wealth scheme operates as intended. Importantly, the court cannot exclude property from an unexplained wealth restraining order unless the court is satisfied that the property is not required to satisfy an unexplained wealth order.
The amendments to the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005 relate to intensive correction orders and improve the operation of the requirement to bring offenders before the appropriate sentencing court. Lastly, the proposed amendments to the Magistrates Court Act 1930 remove uncertainty for defendants when determining whether to appeal a conviction by changing the time frame for appeals to apply 28 days after sentencing, rather than after conviction. On the grounds that these amendments improve clarity in our laws, the Canberra Liberals will not be opposing this legislation.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (4.31), in reply: This omnibus bill amends five acts to make minor but valuable improvements to the criminal law. The need for the amendments has been identified through direct consultation with government agencies and the legal community to identify a range of amendments to improve the administration and operation of the territory’s criminal laws. These improvements are compatible with and promote human rights.
The bill amends the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act to clarify an aspect of the ACT’s unexplained wealth scheme. Under the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act, the court can make an unexplained wealth restraining order. These orders prevent the disposal of assets if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that some or all of a person’s wealth was not lawfully acquired or all or some of that wealth was derived from serious criminal activity and the assets may eventually be needed to satisfy an unexplained wealth order. A person can apply for an order for some or all of the property to be excluded from an unexplained wealth restraining order. The court can make an exclusion order if it is satisfied of a number of factors, including that the property does not need to be restrained to satisfy an unexplained wealth order.
The amendments will clarify which process a person must use to seek an exclusion order for properties subject to an unexplained wealth order. The amendment resolves an ambiguity about whether a person can apply for an exclusion order in relation to property the subject of an unexplained wealth restraining order using the process that applies to exclusions from other types of restraining orders. These other processes do not require the court to be satisfied that the property does not need to be restrained to satisfy an unexplained wealth order. The amendments will confirm that if a person