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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2760 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

However, sadly or otherwise, the time has now come to allow the ACT Court of Appeal to develop as a distinctly ACT institution. I wish it well. It is a fairly historic step in the ACT, albeit one that has been forced upon us to an extent. I thank members for their support of the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Criminal Legislation Amendment Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 15 June 2001, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle:

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (9.34): The Attorney introduced this bill on 15 June 2001. He said at the time, and continues to repeat even as late as in a press release today, that this is not the opening bid for the law and order vote at the election. I might go back to the Attorney's press release in a second.

Whilst the Attorney might believe that statement, I think his press release today belies it, and I am not sure anybody else believes it either. The fact that he is bidding for the law and order vote is apparent from the language he uses in describing what the bill permits or prevents, the targets it aims at and the process he used to decide what amendments should be put forward.

In his presentation speech, the Attorney said that this bill is the result of recommendations from the working party he established to examine crime legislation. We should think about some of the motivation behind this bill and the process utilised. It is worth looking at the composition of the working party established to examine the crime legislation. The working party consisted of departmental representatives, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Federal Police Association and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Given the make-up of the review committee, it is not surprising that this bill attempts to give the police more power and to give the DPP more power. It allows some rather extraordinary extensions of powers to the DPP and the police which I will come to in detail during the detail stage.

The concern is that there was no balance on the working group, as a result of which the Labor Party believes that there is not sufficient balance in the bill, particularly in relation to some of the amendments that have been made to what have been regarded as not just fundamental tenets of individual rights but fundamental tenets of the law. If we look at some of the advice that was received after the event, after the preparation of this bill, from those who would probably have had an expectation that they would be

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