Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1697 ..
decision makers’ powers and to make order to terminate appointments where these powers are being abused.
Another important aspect of this bill is that it makes amendments to legislation to support the functions of two statutory authorities: the ACT Public Trustee and Guardian and the ACT Judicial Council. Amendments to the Public Trustee and Guardian Act provide the Public Trustee and Guardian with a clear legislative function to make necessary arrangements for the disposal of the remains of unclaimed bodies and investigate and administer their estate as necessary. These amendments, which follow on from interim arrangements introduced initially in response to COVID-19 in 2020, will provide certainty as to which agency has the function of making necessary arrangements for unclaimed bodies in the territory.
The ACT Judicial Council is a complaints-handling body for complaints against judicial officers in the ACT and has a legislative responsibility to refer corruption complaints against judicial officers to the ACT Integrity Commission where necessary. Section 28 of the Judicial Commissions Act makes it an offence for a current or past member of the Judicial Council to divulge information acquired by them by virtue of their role with the council. The amendment to the act puts beyond doubt the ability of the council to refer corruption complaints against judicial officers to the ACT Integrity Commission without contravening section 28 of the act.
There is strong expectation from the public that our justice system operate efficiently and that protections are provided for those vulnerable members of our community. I am confident the amendments in this bill will improve the efficiency of our courts and tribunals, support the redress rights of our most vulnerable citizens and improve effective administration and operation of the laws in the territory. I thank all our justice stakeholders for their participation in the process of developing the important amendments in this bill.
As Mr Cain touched on, there were a number of comments or questions raised by the scrutiny committee. I have written back to the scrutiny committee with a detailed answer to that. In addition, I now table a revised explanatory statement which goes to the questions that were raised by the scrutiny committee. Mr Cain flagged it had been provided to him directly but I now table it for the benefit of all members and obviously for the records of the chamber. On that basis, I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.