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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 811 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

One category added by the 1995 amendments was persons who have been convicted and sentenced by an ACT court and who have appealed against their conviction. A parallel amendment was made to the Magistrates Court Act at the same time. That amendment provides a mechanism by which the Magistrates Court can, after a person is convicted by that court and appeals to the Supreme Court, consider whether it is appropriate for that person to be held in the Remand Centre during the course of the appeal. If the court believes that that is the appropriate course, it can make an order to that effect.

In the case of persons who appeal to the Federal Court against a conviction by the Supreme Court, there are provisions in the Federal Court Rules for that court to order that a prisoner be brought before the court to attend their appeal hearing and to make orders for the custody of the prisoner during that process. That procedure is not changed by the present Bill. What this Bill does is to make it clear that the previous amendment to the Remand Centres Act does not, of itself, give a prisoner who appeals against their conviction an entitlement to be held in the Remand Centre during the course of their appeal. It merely provides a capacity for the Remand Centre to hold such a prisoner if a court considers the issue and makes an order to that effect.

The Bill does this by, in clause 4, omitting paragraph 15(1)(m) of the Remand Centres Act 1976 which was inserted by the Remand Centres (Amendment) Act 1995. In its place is inserted a new paragraph 15(1)(m) which makes the original intention of this provision clear. It is important to clarify that intention because otherwise there could be operational and resource problems for the Remand Centre. When the earlier Bill was debated in the Legislative Assembly last year, some concern was expressed that the provisions should not become a means for the Remand Centre to become a de facto place of imprisonment. I reassured the Assembly at the time that that was not the intention and that it was only in very limited circumstances that convicted prisoners should be held in the Remand Centre. That remains the view of the Government, and the present amendment is designed to make that quite clear. Mr Speaker, I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (3.21): Mr Speaker, I present the Administration and Probate (Amendment) Bill 1996, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The main purpose of this Bill is to correct several anomalies in the law as it now stands. At present, when a person dies without leaving a valid will, his or her estate is distributed according to the provisions of the Administration and Probate Act 1929.

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