Page 4102 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2005

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victim’s behalf. Further, the bill provides a right for parents and guardians of child victims and carers to make victim impact statements.

Mr Speaker, before making some points about Mr Stefaniak’s Sentencing and Corrections Reform Amendment Bill, I foreshadow two government amendments to the Crimes (Sentencing) Bill for the detail stage of the bill’s debate. I will be moving amendments to the matters a court must consider when sentencing an offender to include consideration of the harm to a pregnant woman if the woman’s pregnancy or subsequent child suffers harm or is lost as a consequence of the offence.

I will move amendments that will defer the execution of ancillary orders made by sentencing courts until any standard appeal procedures are complete. Ancillary orders include compensation for loss, repairs, et cetera. Deferring the execution of ancillary orders will save victims of crime from the further trauma of repaying moneys if a conviction is overturned or set aside.

I would like to make some brief points about Mr Stefaniak’s bill and the amendments the opposition has foreshadowed to the government’s sentencing bill. In relation to the plethora of penalty changes proposed by Mr Stefaniak I simply say that the government is already developing legislation to implement chapter 5 of the uniform model criminal code. The model criminal code is a national endeavour and will provide the ACT with a comprehensive and cogent set of criminal offences and penalties. Chapter 5 of the code is pending and will cover crimes against the person and includes proposed offences on assault and stalking.

Aggravated offences that apply higher maximum penalties where, for example, the person assaulted is a police officer will be covered by chapter 5 of the code. Given the uniform methodology of the code, I advocate that it is in the best interests of the territory that the Assembly discuss the level of penalties within the context of the code, rather than in a disparate manner as proposed by Mr Stefaniak.

Mr Stefaniak has foreshadowed two major amendments for the government’s sentencing bill. Mr Stefaniak wishes to introduce guideline judgments and standard non-parole periods. Guideline judgments aim to improve the consistency of sentencing in large jurisdictions where the decisions of inferior courts are too variable to be consistent. In New South Wales, for example, a scheme for guideline judgments makes sense. New South Wales has three tiers of courts: local, district and supreme. The 190 local courts in New South Wales are geographically spread across the state. In 2003-04, all New South Wales courts imposed a total of 15,971 custodial orders.

Conversely, the ACT has two tiers of courts: magistrates and supreme. The ACT only has two courthouses, both located in Civic. In 2003-04, both tiers of ACT courts imposed a total of 822 custodial orders. The size of the ACT does not warrant guideline judgments, nor is the ACT experiencing a drastic problem with the Magistrates Court following precedents set by the Supreme Court.

I would also like the Assembly to note that the High Court has ruled against guideline judgments that substitute for the role of the parliament to set penalties. The High Court has found that guideline judgments that set quantitative measures as a chief factor in fixing the sentence are inconsistent with Australian sentencing principles. In other words,

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