Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2087 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
the report from the former MHR whom I think Mr Corbell worked for. It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that extending the sunset clause will allow the committee to look at this issue sensibly. Then we can deal with the issue in the house, probably when the committee reports in September and the Government has responded.
MR CORBELL (10.37): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party will be supporting this Bill. We have no objections to it. It simply implements the resolution of the Assembly yesterday and we will be supporting it.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
MAGISTRATES COURT (AMENDMENT) BILL 1999
Debate resumed from 1 July 1999, on motion by Mr Humphries:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
MR BERRY (10.38): This matter arises as a result of a recent decision by Justice Higgins. The advice to the Assembly by the Attorney is that Justice Higgins found that a restraining order issued by the Magistrates Court after consent from the parties but without admissions from the parties is invalid and the Magistrates Court has no jurisdiction to make an order. I am advised that the domestic violence restraining orders are not affected by this decision, and that the Domestic Violence Act specifically provides that the court may make an order under that Act with the consent of the parties and without proof or admission that the person to be restrained is engaged in the conduct complained of.
Mr Speaker, there is a retrospective effect of this legislation, I am advised, and it was important, therefore, that the matter be properly examined by the scrutiny of Bills committee before it was agreed to in full. I note that the scrutiny of Bills committee report No. 7 of 1999 refers to the Magistrates Court (Amendment) Bill, in particular, to paragraph 2 (c) (i). I will quote from the report of the scrutiny of Bills committee which was tabled today by Mr Osborne, the chair:
Clause 6 of this Bill may have retrospective effect. It does not, however, impose any form of criminal or civil liability on a person and thus does not offend the common law concept of objectionable retrospective law, nor of any such concept in international rights instruments.
So, Mr Speaker, the Labor Party will be supporting this Bill. I should apologise for the absence of Mr Stanhope to deal with this issue. He was unavoidably called away. I repeat that the Labor Party will be supporting the Bill as introduced.