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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 2824 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

several of those recommendations are multiple recommendations or contain a raft of other comments and suggestions.

In broad terms, the government supports 30 major recommendations and it disagrees with seven. The principal matters disagreed to relate to revenue and expenditure reporting or to other non-standard practices in presentation and format of annual reports. Overall, I am sure the Assembly will agree that the government has responded in a way that entrenches and enhances its record of openness and accountability. I welcome the committees' recommendations and again thank members of those committees for their hard work and thoughtfulness. I commend the government's response to the Assembly.

Law Reform Commission

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

ACT Law Reform Commission Report on the Laws Relating to Sexual Assault and the Model Criminal Code Report on Sexual Offences against the Person-Government Response, dated August 2003.

I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: I am pleased today to table the government's response to the report prepared by the ACT Law Reform Commission entitled Laws Relating to Sexual Assault, which incorporates the government's response to the Model Criminal Code Officers Committee report entitled Sexual Offences Against The Person. The Law Reform Commission and the Model Criminal Code Officers Committee reported on a difficult area of law that, from time to time, is subject to debate and controversy. The last major review of the sexual offence laws of the territory to date was in 1985 and the provisions have remained largely unchanged since that time.

The terms of reference to the commission asked for a review and recommendations for changes that needed to be made to these laws as well as practices and procedures in the territory in relation to sexual assault. The commission made 21 recommendations. At the same time as the commission was reviewing the ACT sexual offence laws, the Model Criminal Code Officers Committee, which was established by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General to develop a model criminal code, was examining the sexual offence provisions of all Australian jurisdictions for the purpose of developing model sexual offence laws.

The government has previously indicated its general support for the implementation of the model criminal code in the ACT. The model laws have, therefore, been taken as a starting point for reform of territory sexual offences, with the commission's report and recommendations providing a valuable local perspective on the areas of the law in need of change. As part of the process of developing this response, the government

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