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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 470 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Magistrates and judges are increasingly being called upon to be involved in a whole range of extracurricular activities, to put it one way, which entail the use of their time and the exploitation of their experience and their judicial skills. Obviously, involvement as judge-advocates or whatever in the Defence Force is one way in which that might occur. In other ways, judges are involved in chairing law reform commissions or committees and are active in community organisations. We would all be aware of the involvement of our Chief Magistrate in a number of organisations, including the Richmond Fellowship, the AFL for Canberra Committee, and so on. Those sorts of involvements are to be encouraged and promoted in general rather than discouraged. However, having said that, it is important to make sure that the Government has some capacity to ensure that it has first call on their services, and I believe that the amendments put forward today will facilitate that.

It is also important to make sure that we minimise the complexity of the process whereby witnesses are compelled to come to court. The VATAC scheme, in place now for a number of years, has been quite successful in providing for people charged with offences to appear before courts without having to go through a more formal process of charging. In a sense, this is an extension of that process to cover people who are witnesses in court proceedings, a process which relies much more on the post than has been the case up until now. I believe that these changes will be welcome and appropriate. I thank the Opposition for their support for the legislation and hope that these changes further streamline both the operation of our courts and, indeed, the entire question of access to justice in our court system. I present the corrigendum to the explanatory memorandum.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Motion to Table Paper

MR MOORE (11.50): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion requiring the Government to table a report on information technology.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: I move:

That the Chief Minister table in the Legislative Assembly the Report on Information Technology by Planning Support Inc. and Price Waterhouse before the Assembly rises this day.

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