Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 23 June 2005) . . Page.. 2214 ..
drafted and passed and a sizeable portion of the statute book to harmonise. Accordingly, it is necessary to extend the date for full commencement to 1 July 2007. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.
Criminal Code Harmonisation Bill 2005
Ms Gallagher, on behalf of Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Acting Attorney-General, Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.42): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
I present the Criminal Code Harmonisation Bill 2005. This bill is the first of a series of bills the government will introduce over the term of this Assembly that will see the eventual harmonisation of all ACT legislation with the Criminal Code 2002.
The Criminal Code is progressively modernising the criminal law so that it is relevant to the conditions of the 21st century and is expressed in terms that are easily understood. To date the Criminal Code consist of five chapters, which deal with a broad and diverse range of matters, namely, chapters 1 and 2, which deal with preliminary matters and, most importantly, with the general principles of criminal responsibility; chapter 3, which contains the Criminal Code offences of theft, fraud, bribery and related matters; chapter 4, which deals with property offences and computer crime and chapter 6, which contains the ACT’s serious drug offences. This government will be introducing chapter 7 during these sittings. It deals with offences against the administration of justice. As each chapter has been enacted and a relevant Criminal Code provision applied, corresponding offences in other acts and regulations have been removed.
For an offence to operate effectively under the Criminal Code regime, it must be structured in a way that conforms to the general principles contained in chapter 2 of the Criminal Code. For this reason the Criminal Code was not applied immediately to all offences across the statute book until the offences could be reviewed. Harmonisation is essentially the process of renewing and revising ACT offence provisions to ensure that they are in a form consistent with the principles of the Criminal Code.
With this bill 32 acts and six regulations have been rewritten. The acts cover such matters as the registration of births, deaths and marriages to the regulation of activities on our city’s lake. The oldest act that will be amended by the bill is the Contractors Debt Act 1897, the youngest the Legislative Assembly Precincts Act 2001 and the Waste Minimisation Act 2001.
The general approach of harmonisation is to reformulate offences so that the physical elements and fault elements that apply can be clearly identified. The physical element is