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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 842 ..

Mr Moore: That is just not true, Kerrie; that is just not true.

MS TUCKER: Mr Moore says that it is not true. It is interesting that a national conference on health in prisons, for which you might be interested to get the papers, showed that the increase in the number of people with mental illness in prisons has been related directly to deinstitutionalisation because support has been inadequate in the community. So, there is the issue here of who the people will be who will not have the right to make a choice, as well as the basic issue of whomever it is having the right.

I am sorry if the judiciary are nervous that water or a jug might be thrown at them. Obviously, no-one wants to have unsafe activities occurring anywhere at any time. But I do not see that it is a strong enough argument to say, therefore, that this piece of legislation must always give the courts the right to make a decision here, quite possibly against the wishes of the person who, for whatever reason, wants to be part of the court proceedings.

Some people do not like being videoed. Some people find that experience quite confronting, particularly if they have mental health problems. The reasons for wanting to appear could well be not what Mr Humphries is suggesting, that is, that they just want to go in and create mayhem in the courtroom. I will defend the right of those people to say that they would prefer to be in the court. As people have said, it is not a particularly happy experience and there probably would not be that many who would want to do it.

Mr Rugendyke, once again, put up a curious argument in this place. He said that, because the Bill says the court "may" at any time vary or revoke a direction, it will happen mostly, and it will happen mostly because he knows that it normally would happen. So, we have that kind of vague response from Mr Rugendyke. It does concern me to hear responses like that when we are looking at legislation, because legislation needs to be exact in its meaning and it is not okay just to say, "It will probably work out all right. Why would it not?". You have to be clearer in your arguments than that. I am supporting the amendments of Mr Stanhope because I think that a particular group of people could be disadvantaged otherwise, and I do not think that that is fair.

MR BERRY (12.32): Yesterday, this Assembly was subjected to theatre and moaning ad nauseam about the rights of individuals to justice. What strikes me about this matter is that today Mr Humphries can put forward a complex argument in relation to the matter, whereas he did not do so when he introduced the legislation to this place, and explain to us why the civil liberties of some individuals were going to be interfered with - in fact, taken away.

I will deal first of all with something that Mr Rugendyke said. Mr Rugendyke said that the amendment put forward by the Government to section 72 of the Magistrates Court Act provided for the court to make decisions in relation to appearances before it. I think Mr Rugendyke has missed the point. The right should be automatic. If the court is to take it away, the court must justify its actions. That is the difference between civil liberties and convenience. He did talk about convenience factors which might discourage people from appearing before the courts. In fact, it did trouble me as he went through all of the areas that there seemed to be a lot of things that would discourage

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