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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (4 March) . . Page.. 473 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

I put the question: how does this help with rehabilitation? Is punishment to be forever, for all crime? This law makes the base assumption that someone cannot move on after their committing of a crime and, if they do, they must then ignore the crime and their experience of the subsequent punishment, which might be represented through artistic expression.

I support the amendment in the hope that it will make this entire piece of legislation better, but it will not in itself make this piece of legislation supportable. I have outlined my concerns with this bill, and I believe that it is in essence turning on its head what I thought were the basic premises of our legal system.

MS TUCKER (4.07): I will make a couple of comments in response to points made by members. I did make this quite clear in my presentation, but maybe I did not stress it enough-and Mr Stanhope did not seem to have heard me acknowledge the fact-but there are exemptions and matters which the court has to take account of. That is obviously the case, and I am sorry if I did not make it clear that I was aware of that.

It is important to stress the point again here that the very fact that a person might be brought again before the court to justify their artwork and their right to determine where the proceeds of that artwork will go is of possible detriment to people who have created and sold artworks that are the result of rehabilitative processes that have had a life-changing impact on them.

The exemptions and matters to be considered in this bill-I won't read them out, but they are there for anybody to see in the bill-take into account a number of issues. But it is also incredibly broad in terms of how the artwork is related to the offence. Proposed section 81(1)(c) reads:

an expression of the thoughts, opinions or emotions of the offender, or another involved person, about the offence.

You couldn't get much broader than that in terms of constraining this particular activity. I stress again that, while I acknowledge that the court has a say, it is the fact that the court is involved that I am concerned about. That is why I ask members to consider supporting this amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 13.

MS TUCKER (4.10): I seek leave to move amendments 3 and 4, circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

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