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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2275 ..


consideration of opportunities for enhancing the right to liberty in a way that still supports the security of Canberrans. At this time, the powers in the act have not been used and no preventative orders have been applied for or made by ACT Policing. However, with the passage of time since the act was introduced, it is important that we give careful consideration to the balance of rights in the act and to whether any adjustments can or should be made to simultaneously support national security and protect the rights of individuals.

Finally, the bill makes important changes to the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 in respect to sentencing for family violence offences to better protect victims of family violence and better respond to family violence offending in a way that considers the circumstances of an offender and the offence that they have committed. The government is committed to introducing measures to address and prevent family violence in our community. This amendment reflects the government’s efforts to continually review and improve the response of our criminal justice system to family violence offending. Amending the sentencing framework in this way seeks to ensure that the safety, the basic human rights and the wellbeing of all citizens is supported and protected by the criminal justice system and legislation that we have in place.

This bill provides a clear signal that the ACT government is ready and willing to act to ensure that our laws are secure enough to protect members of the community and meet their standards, and is nuanced enough to consider the specific circumstances and situations that individuals in contact with the criminal justice system may be experiencing. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (11.38), in reply: The Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 makes changes to five pieces of legislation to support efforts to keep vulnerable people safe, support police in our community and make sure our criminal justice system functions in line with the community’s expectations, particularly in addressing matters of domestic and family violence.

I thank the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for the comments provided in Scrutiny report 7, which identified opportunities to improve the explanation of the intent and proposed effect of the amendments. I table a revised explanatory statement on the bill to address those comments. I table:

Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2021—revised explanatory statement.

Turning to the subject matter of the bill, firstly, this bill includes important amendments to the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 to address the severity of family violence offences, as has been noted by the other speakers today. These amendments made changes to sentencing laws, to require the courts to consider additional factors when sentencing for family violence offences.

The amendments to this act support various rights under the Human Rights Act 2004, including the right to protection from torture and cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment; protection of family and children; and the right to liberty and security of


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