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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3674 ..


MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (10.48): Mr Speaker, I present the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1999 makes a number of largely technical amendments to the law of the Territory, principally concerning ACT tribunals. With respect to tribunals, first of all, the Bill makes a further series of changes to legislation concerning a number of tribunals. This continues the task commenced in the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1999, providing for a common set of standard provisions dealing with the administration and membership of tribunals. This will foster greater efficiency in the way the tribunals function by removing pointless and confusing differences between the existing range of provisions. These changes simplify and standardise core provisions dealing with ACT tribunals.

The substantive law governing the operation of the several tribunals will not be greatly affected by the amendments. While large parts of the various Acts have been repealed, their provisions have been rearranged into a coherent and consistent order and replaced. The changes have also been made to ensure that terminology is used consistently between the Acts. There are also amendments dealing with the Interpretation Act of the Territory. A series of changes have been made to that Act, again, continuing the task commenced in the earlier Law Reform Act of bringing this law up to date.

In particular, I draw members' attention to revisions dealing with acting appointments. The existing provisions date to a time when officers of the imperial civil service were sent to take control of some far flung place in the empire. The existing sections are, in many cases, impenetrable. The new sections are cast in simple language. Examples are included. In addition, the changes are used to allow us to repeal other unnecessary and generally less than comprehensive sections dealing with acting appointments.

Amendments to the Juries Act 1967 replace earlier proposed changes to the Act in the light of comments by the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety. The amendments will permit a juror to disclose protected information to a legal practitioner for the purpose of obtaining advice where the jury deliberations are an issue, where information is sought by a legal practitioner or if a juror becomes involved in court proceedings, a criminal investigation or a royal commission. The Parole Orders (Transfer) Act 1983 is also amended to expressly permit a delegation of a ministerial power. I commend this Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope ) adjourned.

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