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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4062 ..



Code Officers Committee. Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania have also privileged counselling notes.

The other provisions of this bill are no less important. The updated evidentiary provisions proposed will provide a more coherent set of rules for sexual offence proceedings.

I will just quickly outline what the other divisions do. Division 4 (2) transfers the closed court provisions and prohibition on publishing the complainant's identity from the Evidence Act 1971. Division 4 (3) transfers the closed-circuit provisions from part 2 of the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1991, and division 4 (4) transfers and updates the provisions in part 10A of the Evidence Act 1971 concerning a complainant's sexual reputation and activities. Division 4 (6) updates the warnings and directions required to be given in a sexual offence proceeding. This bill will protect sexual offence complainants from unnecessary humiliation and distress after the most traumatic of offences.

Later in the debate, the government will be moving a number of amendments. These amendments rise out of the scrutiny of bills committee report. The first amendment will replace the proposed section 53 to address a possible ambiguity identified by the committee, and amendments 2 to 5 are technical in nature, removing the term "victim"as appropriate. I will move those at the appropriate time.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.


(Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (5.47): I seek leave to move amendments 1 to 5 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.


: I move amendments 1 to 5 circulated in my name, together with a supplementary explanatory statement to them [see schedule1 at page 4072].

The scrutiny of bills committee's report gave rise to two proposed government amendments. On page 11 of the report the committee suggests that subclause 53 (1) of the bill might be read in a way to displace the general rule in section 103 of the Evidence Act 1995 on the admissibility of evidence to challenge a witness's credibility. If the committee's suggestion is correct, subclause 53 (1) could have the unintended result of making it easier, rather than harder, to cross-examine complainants in sexual offence trials on their past sexual history.

This was not the intention, and accordingly it is proposed to introduce an amendment to make it clear that section 103 of the Evidence Act is not displaced, and that in sexual

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